Florida couple indicted in St. Louis in ID theft, tax fraud scheme

Florida couple indicted in St. Louis in ID theft, tax fraud scheme

ST. LOUIS • A Florida couple have been indicted on federal charges and accused of running a tax refund fraud scheme that preyed on employees of a St. Louis bank, among other victims, to reap more than $1 million in suspicious refunds, court documents show.

Alexsandr Rabikov, 36, and his girlfriend Yulia Belomyttseva, 27, both of Ft. Lauderdale, were indicted Feb. 11 on a charge of conspiracy to steal government funds and commit aggravated identity theft, prosecutors said Wednesday.

IRS and FBI agents traced a total of more than $1 million in refunds to bank accounts held or controlled by Rabikov, IRS – Criminal Investigation Special Agent Jennifer Alvarez-Drier wrote in an affidavit filed in court.

The case began in February of 2014, when roughly 90 employees of Southern Commercial Bank tried to file their taxes and learned that their identities had been stolen, Alvarez-Drier wrote. Investigators believe that members of the conspiracy used malware to steal employees’ personal information and financial data, then used that information to file tax returns in their names.

Alvarez-Drier found accounts linked to both Rabikov and Belomyttseva that received refunds.

Both also directed proceeds of the conspiracy to financial accounts belonging to others, prosecutors said. Rabikov paid account holders to turn over control of their accounts in exchange for a fee, Lavarez-Drier wrote.

Belomyttseva is a Russian citizen here on a tourist visa and Rabikov is a native of Belarus and a permanent resident of the U.S., court documents show. Both were arrested late last month in Florida and were expected to appear in U.S. District Court in St. Louis Wednesday afternoon.

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