ST. LOUIS • A man originally from Nigeria admitted in federal court here Friday that he was part of a tax fraud that cost the IRS $889,712 and that he had both re-entered the country after being deported and voted illegally.
Kevin Kunlay Williams, 56, first entered the U.S. in 1976 using the name Kunlay Sodipo, his plea says.
In 1985, he was convicted of a felony credit card abuse charge in Texas. In 1988, he was convicted of another felony credit card abuse charge there. Both times, he served a small portion of prison sentences of 10 and 15 years, respectively.
On Sept. 21, 1995, he was deported from New York because of the convictions.
He came back via Miami in March 1999 using the Williams name.
He registered to vote in 1999 in Missouri, falsely claiming he was born in New York. He registered again in 2012 and voted in federal and state elections in 2012 and 2016, his plea agreement says.
Secretary of state records show that Williams voted in elections in March 2001 and November of 2002, 2004, 2012 and 2016.
Williams is still registered to vote, according to state records.
The tax fraud began in August 2015.
Williams got electronic filing identification numbers from at least two people “from others,” and then used those IDs to set up accounts with a company that provides tax-related bank products and services to tax preparation businesses.
Those two accounts were used to file more than 2,000 2015 tax returns seeking about $12.2 million in refunds on behalf of people whose personal information was used without their knowledge.
The victims include school district employees in Alabama and Mississippi whose personal information was exposed in a data breach of a payroll company, Williams’ plea says. The IRS paid out $889,712, it says.
When he was arrested in February, Williams was found with a gun, the plea says.
Under federal sentencing guidelines, Williams could face at least 70 months in prison at his sentencing, which is set for Oct. 13.
He will ultimately be deported.
At the beginning of the hearing, he said that he had leukemia and other health problems.
He pleaded guilty Friday to felony charges of mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, re-entry of a removed alien and making a false statement relating to citizenship.
After he admitted to the crimes in court Friday, Williams dissolved into tears.
Assistant Federal Public Defender Brocca Morrison declined to comment after Friday’s hearing.
A photo of Williams was not available.