A Sand Springs man pleaded guilty October 2 in federal court for allegedly filing a fraudulent tax return that resulted in a $3,800 tax refund, according to U.S. Attorney Trent Shores’ office.

Kevin Petty, 54, reportedly pleaded guilty to theft of government property before Chief U.S. District Judge John E. Dowdell. Petty admitted to opening multiple financial accounts in order to receive the direct deposit refunds resulting from fraudulent federal income tax filings in the plea agreement, according to a report.

“Tax refund identity theft is a significant and growing problem. In fact, the IRS has previously identified it as the number one tax fraud scam they see,” Shores said in a statement. “Tax refund identity theft can be a financially lethal combination for victims causing delays in their return or problems with future filings.”

Petty allegedly filed a fraudulent 2016 income tax return in 2017 using the name of a taxpayer who was unaware of the filing of the false document. The $3,800 tax refund amount was reportedly deposited into a Green Dot card account, which funded a Green Dot pre-paid debit account. Petty also reportedly filed five additional fraudulent returns, under different names, which were intercepted by the IRS. The six false returns filed by Petty allegedly sought a total of $12,303 in fraudulent refunds.

At the time of his arrest by Sand Springs Police in 2017, Petty was reportedly found to be in possession of personal identifying information of multiple individuals, including credit and debit card and a list of names with social security cards and birth dates. Another document in Petty’s possession at the time of his arrest also allegedly included e-mail addresses and passwords, phone numbers, mailing addresses and routing and bank account information for other individuals.

Chief Judge Dowdell set sentencing for Jan. 6, 2020.

The Sand Spring Police Department, IRS-Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspector conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles M. McLoughlin prosecuted the case.

Rachel Snyder 918-581-8315