Mobile Resident Sentenced to More Than 19 Years in Prison for Fraud and Identity Theft

Jul 14, 2023

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Alabama:

MOBILE, AL – A Mobile man was sentenced today to 231 months in prison for wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and making false statements to the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) and Social Security Administration (“SSA”).

According to court documents and evidence presented at a three-day trial in April 2023, Kartarius Dewan Johnson, also known as Tareeq Akhil Anad, 42, engaged in widespread financial fraud and identity theft. Between March 2020 and January 2021, Johnson sought to defraud others of property and money worth more than $8 million using false documents containing language commonly used by sovereign citizens, a group of people who generally believe that the U.S. government is illegitimate and that they are exempt from federal, state, or local laws. Johnson contracted with third parties, including car dealerships in Mobile, Beverly Hills, California, and Scottsdale, Arizona, to purchase Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz vehicles. He also signed a purchase agreement for a $4 million bayfront home in Daphne. To further his fraud scheme, Johnson mailed packages and sent emails to financial institutions and other individuals, in violation of the federal wire fraud statute. Johnson did not have the money to legitimately buy the items he sought.

Johnson also tried to fraudulently obtain SBA funds for COVID–19 relief and lied to the SSA about his U.S. citizenship when applying for a new social security card, citing membership in a fictitious tribe that is not federally recognized. In furtherance of his fraud schemes, Johnson illegally used social security numbers belonging to two deceased individuals. Records showed that between 2015 and 2018, Johnson improperly received federal tax credits totaling more than $800,000 for purported biodiesel fuel usage, which he spent on personal expenses, including a private jet membership, clothing, jewelry, cars, vacations, and child support payments.

In addition to the 231-month prison term, United States District Judge Terry F. Moorer ordered Johnson to serve a five-year term of supervised release upon his release from prison, during which time he will undergo drug testing and treatment, will receive mental health evaluation and treatment, and will be subject to credit restrictions. The court did not impose a fine, but Judge Moorer ordered Johnson to pay $310 in victim restitution and $1,600 in special assessments.

U.S. Attorney Sean P. Costello of the Southern District of Alabama made the announcement.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the SSA Office of Inspector General investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Roller of the Southern District of Alabama and Trial Attorneys Sinan Kalayoglu and Shai Bronshtein of the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, Criminal Division prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

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