A federal jury convicted a former Internal Revenue Service IT specialist on fraud charges for stealing a victim’s identity and using it to buy $58,000 worth of plane tickets, hotel rooms and home-remodeling materials.
According to federal prosecutors, Kwashie Senam Zilevu, 37, ran a fraud scheme in which he opened a line of credit in a victim’s name using information he obtained from the dark web. He received a credit card in the victim’s name that was mailed to his home in Woodbridge, Virginia and used it to buy international airline tickets, expensive hotel rooms, interior decorating services, and construction materials that he used to remodel his home, along with other goods and services. Zilevu allegedly made fraudulent payments to himself using financial instruments belonging to others, routing the charitable donations to a fictitious African charity website he created, controlled and used, and receiving payments via a PayPal account associated with the credit card he opened in the victim’s name.
“As the evidence at trial showed, the defendant engaged in a scheme involving fraudulent purchases and payments, including by using a fictitious charity website, for his own benefit,” said Raj Parekh, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, in a statement Monday. “We thank the trial team and our partner agencies for ensuring that the defendant has been held accountable for inexcusably committing this crime while he was serving as a federal employee.”
Zilevu was convicted on Saturday and faces up to 15 years in prison when he’s sentenced on Nov. 10.