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Tax identity thief who ate debit card evidence is convicted

Whenever my brother and I balked at what was on our plates, our dad told us that if we were hungry enough, we'd eat anything.

Credit-debit-card-sandwich_SKB-photoApparently that also applies if your appetite is whetted by an attempt to avoid arrest for tax identity theft.

Ogiesoba City Osula was arrested in 2011 after police in a Cincinnati suburb caught him with $300,000 in cash and money orders, as well as numerous debit cards.

Federal prosecutors said Osula ate one of the debit cards in an attempt to conceal evidence that linked him to a wider tax fraud conspiracy.

There's no word from U.S. attorneys as to whether Osula suffered excess heartburn after his arrest stunt.

It is, however, probably a safe assumption that he needed some antacid last week after a federal jury in Dallas found him guilty of 16 charges related to his role in a conspiracy to use stolen identities to fraudulently obtain federal income tax refunds.

Specifically, the jury convicted Osula on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud, and bank fraud; seven counts of presenting fraudulent claims upon the United States; two counts of fraud in connection with access devices and aiding and abetting; and six counts of aggravated identity theft and aiding and abetting.

Authorities say Osula used stolen identities to file electronic income tax returns and claim millions of dollars in refunds. Millions more were claimed but never disbursed.

The refunds were then credited to stored-value cards or deposited in bank accounts set up with the stolen identities.

The guilty verdicts were handed down Oct. 25. Osula, a 37-year-old Dallas resident, will be sentenced at a later date.

Four accomplices previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in the fraud scheme and will also be sentenced later. They are George Ojonugwa, 32, of Garland, Texas; Eseos Igiebor, 43, of Richardson, Texas; Ebenezer Legbedion, 42, of Lagos, Nigeria, and Evelyn Nyaboke Haley, 34, of Dallas.

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