WASHINGTON – A 29-count indictment was unsealed today in Montgomery, Ala., charging Bryant Thompson, an Alabama corrections officer, and Quincy Walton, a former Alabama corrections officer, with federal tax crimes, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. Thompson and Walton are both charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States; Thompson is additionally charged with 10 counts of wire fraud and 10 counts of aggravated identity theft, and Walton is additionally charged with four counts of theft of government money and four counts of aggravated identity theft.
According to the indictment, Thompson, a corrections officer at the Alabama Department of Corrections, unlawfully obtained the names and Social Security numbers of inmates in the custody of the state of Alabama and caused to be filed false tax returns in the names of those inmates. The IRS issued tax refund checks in the names of inmates whose identities Thompson unlawfully obtained and Walton cashed those checks.
An indictment is merely a formal charge by the grand jury. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
If convicted, Thompson and Walton face a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for the conspiracy count, a maximum of 20 years for each wire fraud count, a maximum of 10 years for each theft of government money count and a minimum of two years for aggravated identity theft. In addition to prison time, Thompson and Walton also face the possibility of fines and restitution to the IRS and other victims.