ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - A St. Louis musician is accused of stealing close to $200,000 in tax refunds in an IRS scam.
Olufunsho Adeshina, 29, may be the last guy you'd ever suspect: an immigrant with a very public persona.
He’s a jazz guitarist with a growing following on Facebook and YouTube.
His public Facebook page boasts of a new album coming and performances in St. Louis, Nashville, and Colorado. It has more than 1700 likes with fans posting regularly.
But the Nigerian national’s music career has come to a screeching halt, authorities say.
“It appears over the last weekend, once the accounts were frozen, he may have rented a U-Haul and moved out,” said U.S. Attorney, Richard Callahan.
Court documents say Adeshina used stolen social security numbers to file 20 to 30 phony tax returns and have close to $200,000 in refunds deposited into nearly 20 bank accounts he had set up at US Bank, Commerce Bank, and 5th/3rd Bank.
Every account listed his home address as 5330 Queens in North St. Louis.
“I’ve seen him…oh yeah, I’ve seen him,” neighbor John Lampley said.
Adeshina used to rent the place but he hadn’t seen him for several months, Lampley said.
A woman living there now said she still got mail addressed to Adeshina but he’d been gone since at least since she began renting the home in October.
Callahan warned tax refund theft was becoming a common crime; taxpayers who’d yet to file, might wish they already had.
“If you haven’t filed your text return yet, you’re taking a chance that someone has already used your social security number. If that’s the case, if you have a refund coming, it’s going to be a lot longer before you actually get your refund,” Callahan said.
He credited workers at all three banks who -- each independently of the others -- blew this whistle on the scam. It appeared that Adeshina failed to get away with any of the money thus far, Callahan said.
But court documents indicated Adeshina might have run this scam at least as far back as 2013.
If you've seen Adeshina or know where he is, call police.