US revenue agent involved in Nigerian bank scam misguided – Attorney

Counsel for a former United States’ Internal Revenue Service employee who pleaded guilty to participating in a Nigerian-based identity theft scheme has said he shouldn’t face federal prison time because he was ‘catfished’ and ‘misguided’.

In October, Gregory Lundene, 53, pleaded guilty before Flint US District Judge Terrence G. Berg to a charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud in the identity theft scheme that attempted to steal thousands of dollars from taxpayers and other victims.

The court recommended that Lundene be jailed 15 to 21 months, according to records.

However, his attorney, Michael P. Manley, pleaded that former IRS agent should be spared because he is “a single star-crossed lover: a man who did stupid things for a woman who not only left his love unrequited, but who also did not exist; a man who has been left destitute by this misguided love, a man who was catfished.”

Mlive reports that Manley is requesting Lundene be credited for one day he served in jail and be sentenced to supervised release instead.

Manley said, ” I hope the judge looks at the totality of this very unique case and that [Lundene] was a victim and minimal player in this scam.”

Federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint Sept. 10, 2015, in Flint U.S. District Court against Lundene — who retired from the IRS in the midst of the legal proceedings — following an investigation by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

Authorities began their investigation into Lundene earlier that year after an allegedly fraudulent tax return was filed online in March 2015 with the IRS, according to an affidavit included in the complaint. The return, filed for a taxpayer identified only as “RB” in the complaint, called for a $282,548 refund, which was deposited into a bank account controlled by Lundene.

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Author: Femi Erinle
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