GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A former Grand Rapids man was sentenced to seven years in federal prison and ordered to forfeit his Bentley Continental for check-writing and income tax refund schemes.
Marvin Whetstone, 34, was sentenced Thursday. He was also ordered to three years of supervised release after his prison term and to pay restitution.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Whetstone recruited accomplices to open bank accounts with a nominal amount of money and then write thousands of dollars in bad checks to buy rolls of postage stamps, gift cards, and other goods. Whetstone would then sell the goods online. He would also use his accomplices to recruit individuals without jobs to give him their Social Security Numbers and other identifying information and then Whetstone would file fraudulent income tax returns to get tax refunds. The funds were directly deposited to “Green Dot” and “RushCard” reloadable prepaid debit cards. He would then split the proceeds with the individuals.
The U.S. Attorney says that in total, Whetstone defrauded the U.S. Postal Service and retailers approximately $100,000 and the I.R.S. about $54,000. Whetstone apparently used the proceeds to purchase the Bentley Continental, which he was also ordered to forfeit.