Two plead guilty in IRS data breach

The government has secured two guilty pleas in the recent data breach that exposed the sensitive information of hundreds of thousands of taxpayers.

A husband-and-wife team pleaded guilty to playing a role in the breach of the Internal Revenue Service’s “Get Transcript” system, in which digital scammers used people’s personal details to access IRS accounts and obtain sensitive tax data.


The duo that pleaded guilty, Anthony Alika and Sonia Alika, were part of a team that used this tax information to file for fraudulent tax refunds that were eventually transferred to bank accounts they controlled, authorities said.

For his part in the scheme, Anthony Alika pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit money laundering. Sonia Alika pleaded guilty to illegally structuring their illicit cash withdrawals to evade bank reporting requirements.

He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, and she faces a maximum of 10 years.

“The IRS is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to pursue identity thieves,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a statement. “The IRS is also continuing to strengthen its operations and working with state revenue departments and the tax industry to provide further protections for taxpayers against identity theft.”

In total, hackers breached roughly 700,000 taxpayer accounts.