MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Freeport woman was sentenced today to one and a half to three years in prison for stealing the identities of hundreds of people. As part of her sentence, Seerojnie Ram, a/k/a Seerojnie Mohan, 50, will also have to pay restitution to the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance in the amount of $52,498 and to the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of $32,468.
The defendant pleaded guilty before Judge Robert Bogle on July 13 to Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (an E felony).
“This defendant paid for cruises, gambling sprees, and a BMW with money she scammed by filing bogus tax returns with stolen identities, and today’s sentence holds her accountable,” DA Singas said. “With millions of Americans’ financial information recently compromised by data breaches, we have redoubled our commitment to investigate and prosecute identity theft in Nassau County and I strongly encourage everyone to take increased precautions to protect themselves from being victimized by scammers.”
“Ms. Ram showed no regard for her victims, stealing their financial DNA for profit. Today’s sentencing sends a message that no matter whose identity you assume, your true identity will be uncovered and you will be brought to justice for your crimes,” said U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge Philip R. Bartlett.
“Our criminal investigations team diligently helps uncover and prosecute identity thieves who attempt to cheat the State by using another person’s identifying information to file fraudulent tax returns,” said Acting Commissioner Nonie Manion of the State Department of Tax and Finance. “We’ll continue to work closely with DA Singas and all local law enforcement officials to combat these crimes.”
DA Singas said that between Oct. 1, 2013 and May 13, 2015, Ram fraudulently submitted more than 200 personal income tax returns for the tax years of 2013 and 2014 electronically to the Internal Revenue Service and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.
Ram used the names and Social Security numbers of approximately 250 people without their permission, authority or knowledge to file fraudulent tax returns and she stole thousands of dollars in income tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service and New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.
As part of the scheme, Ram obtained identities – including those of disabled people and the deceased – and filed forged US Postal Service Change of Address forms or IRS Change of Address forms in order to change the addresses of hundreds of individuals to addresses under her control.
To accept direct deposit of refunds from the IRS, Ram set up Green Dot pre-paid credit card accounts in several states, including New York.
Records show that Ram spent money obtained through this scheme for trips to Atlantic City, for cruises, and to furnish her home. She often used postal money orders to conceal money flow – for example, paying the lease on her 2015 BMW X6. Despite hundreds of thousands of dollars of money being moved through her accounts, Ram filed for bankruptcy in 2015 and even received Medicaid benefits.
Inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service discovered the scheme when it became known that mail in the name of many different individuals was being sent to the same address. The USPS then referred the case to the DA’s office for investigation. DA investigators and US Postal Inspectors investigated the case, with the assistance of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.
Deputy Bureau Chief Connie Gentile and Senior Assistant District Attorney Betty Rodriguez of DA Singas’ Economic Crimes Bureau are prosecuting this case. Ram is represented by Stacy Eves, Esq.