IRS scam suspect will remain behind bars, magistrate rules

A man accused of devising an elaborate identity theft scheme that allegedly cost the federal government nearly half a million dollars in tax money won’t be freed on bond.


After a detention hearing today in U.S. District Court in Augusta, Magistrate Judge W. Leon Barfield said the reasons to hold Anthony Davila without bond pending trial were extensive, not the least of which concerned his lengthy rap sheet and admitted use of cocaine every day.

“For lack of a better description, he is the poster child for detention,” Judge Barfield said of Mr. Davila.

Mr. Davila, 44, had already moved from Augusta to Tampa in 2007 when an informant told federal agents here about the alleged scam Mr. Davila pulled.

IRS Special Agent Jeff Hale testified this morning that they were told Mr. Davila searched through the Florida Department of Corrections’ Web site to find inmates serving long prison terms. He then called the court clerks’ offices where selected inmates were convicted and obtained case information that included the inmates’ dates and birth and Social Security numbers.

He used the Florida Secretary of State’s Web page to look up the tax identity numbers for some large companies in Florida. And then he used both sets of data to create false W2 forms and tax returns, Agent Hale testified.

The federal agents were able to verify that 87 tax return checks were sent to the 14 different bank accounts set up in Mr. Davila’s name. A total of $423,531 was paid out, Agent Hale testified.

The agents also collected the envelopes that the tax return forms were mailed in. On one envelope investigators found one of Mr. Davila’s fingerprints, Agent Hale testified.

Mr. Davila was arrested at his Tampa home on May 20. In Augusta he faces charges of conspiracy, filing false income tax claims, mail fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Mr. Davila has dozens of convictions for drugs and bad checks. He served two years in prison before his released in July 2005.

At the time of his arrest on the current charges, Mr. Davila was co-owner of a business named Let Me Modify Your Mortgage, a limited liability company.

Diamarie Davila , his wife, testified the business helps people who are in danger of losing their homes in foreclosure. The Davilas’ Tampa home is in foreclosure, too, she said.



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