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112th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     112-639

======================================================================



 
   STOPPING TAX OFFENDERS AND PROSECUTING IDENTITY THEFT ACT OF 2012
                                _______
                                

 July 31, 2012.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Smith of Texas, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 4362]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 4362) to provide effective criminal prosecutions for 
certain identity thefts, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2

Background and Need for the Legislation..........................     2

Hearings.........................................................     4

Committee Consideration..........................................     5

Committee Votes..................................................     5

Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     5

New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     5

Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     5

Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     6

Advisory on Earmarks.............................................     6

Section-by-Section Analysis......................................     6

Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     7

Dissenting Views.................................................     9

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 4362, the ``Stopping Tax Offenders and Prosecuting 
Identity Theft Act,'' provides additional tools to combat the 
serious problem of tax-return identity theft. This criminal 
activity has expanded exponentially as identity thieves file 
for and receive other people's income tax returns, victimizing 
unsuspecting taxpayers. H.R. 4362 adds tax fraud to the list of 
predicate offenses for aggravated identity theft and expands 
the definition of an ``identity theft victim'' to include 
businesses and charitable organizations, which often have their 
identities stolen and used in ``phishing'' schemes to extract 
the sensitive information from unsuspecting taxpayers used in 
tax return thefts. H.R. 4362 also calls for better coordination 
between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and state and local law 
enforcement in tax-return identity theft cases, and requires 
DOJ to report back on trends in tax-return identity theft, 
progress on prosecuting these crimes, and recommendations for 
additional legal tools to combat it.

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    Federal law prohibits identity theft and identity fraud, 
specifically the knowing possession, production, transfer, or 
use of an identification document, a false identification 
document, or a means of identification without lawful 
authority. Penalties for violating this law range from up to 5 
years for garden-variety identity theft to up to 20 years if 
the identity theft facilitates a drug offense, crime of 
violence, or is a second offense, or up to 30 years if the 
identity theft facilitates an act of terrorism. This statute 
was enacted in 1998 at 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1028.
    In 2004, the law was expanded to add a provision known as 
``aggravated identity theft.'' Codified at 18 U.S.C. 
Sec. 1028A, this statute provides for a consecutive 2-year 
sentence for

        ``Whoever, during and in relation to any felony 
        enumerated in subsection (c), knowingly transfers, 
        possesses, or uses, without lawful authority, a means 
        of identification of another person . . .''

    Subsection (c) contains a list of ``predicate'' felonies 
that if accompanied by identity theft can result in the 
consecutive 2-year sentence that is in addition to the sentence 
for the predicate felony. These felonies include theft, 
embezzlement, fraud, false statements, wire fraud, and false 
statements in connection to acquiring a firearm.
    Like other forms of identity theft, tax fraud through 
identity theft is a rapidly growing problem in the United 
States. As a general matter, this crime is committed when an 
individual uses the Social Security Number and other 
information of another individual to file a false tax return 
with the Internal Revenue Service (``IRS'') or fraudulently 
claims someone as a dependent in order to receive a refund.
    Tax fraud through identity theft is often committed by 
gangs and organized crime organizations who defraud large 
groups of people.\1\ These groups see it as a low-risk, high-
return crime that often carries low penalties. Tax fraud is 
also being committed at high rates by prison inmates. In just 
2009, there were 1,464 fraudulent tax returns filed by 
inmates.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Written Statement of Nina E Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate, 
Hearing on Tax Fraud by Identity Theft, Part 2: Statute, Progress, and 
Potential Solutions, Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic 
Growth, Committee on Finance, March 20, 2012.
    \2\Senators Press IRS to Stop Prisoner Tax Fraud, Accounting Today, 
January 19, 2011, at http://www.accountingtoday.com/news/Senators-
Press-IRS-Stop-Prisoner-Tax-Fraud-56973-1.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Criminals obtain Social Security Numbers from various 
sources, including medical facilities, schools, insurance 
companies, and pension funds. Another common source for Social 
Security Numbers is the Social Security Administration's Death 
Master File, a list containing the full name, Social Security 
Number, date of birth, and some address information for every 
person who dies in the United States that is published each 
year. In one instance, scam artists allegedly established a 
fake job placement company and used the information they 
learned from 300 victims to obtain more than $450,000 in 
returns from the IRS.\3\ The fraudulent returns are either paid 
to the scam artist in the form of a check, direct deposit, or 
debit cards. Debit cards are particularly dangerous because 
once a refund is issued in that form, it is extremely difficult 
to trace.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Identity Theft Tops List of Tax Scams, CNBC, available at http:/
/www.cnbc.com/id/47077876/Identity__Theft__Tops__List__of__Tax__Scams.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The IRS detected 940,000 fake returns among the 2010 
returns alone, for which the IRS would have paid over $6.5 
billion in fraudulent payments if the fake returns had not been 
detected and stopped.\4\ The IRS estimates, however, that it 
did pay as much as $5.2 billion in fraudulent refunds in 2010 
for unidentified fake tax returns.\5\ Fraudulent returns are 
often not detected because the IRS does not verify W-2 forms 
until after a refund is paid. Detection is also difficult when 
the identity stolen is not an active income tax filer, either 
because the person is deceased or because he is not required to 
pay Federal income taxes. In these cases, the victim is not 
notified of the fraud when he attempts to file a return and, 
thus, does not in turn notify the IRS of the fraud.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Testimony of the Honorable J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector 
General for Tax Administration, Joint Hearing before the Committee on 
Ways and Means, Subcommittees on Oversight and Social Security, U.S. 
House of Representatives, May 8, 2012.
    \5\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The billions of dollars in fraudulent tax returns that are 
paid each year harm the taxpayers as a whole because, in many 
cases, the IRS pays two refunds--one to the scam artist, and 
one to the actual taxpayer. Tax fraud through identity theft 
also can be devastating to the individual victim, who must 
prove their own identity to the IRS and, oftentimes, wait 
months or years to receive refunded money that is rightfully 
owed to them. In some instances, individual victims have faced 
enforcement actions by the IRS due to fraudulent returns filed 
by scam artists under their name. And recipients of Social 
Security disability payments could potentially face the loss of 
these benefits because the Social Security Administration uses 
tax returns as proof that someone is working.
    The IRS reports that it is taking a number of steps to 
prevent, detect, and prosecute identity theft. These include:

         LImplementing identity theft screening filters 
        designed to spot fake returns before a refund is 
        issued. As of March 2012, these filters have stopped 
        potentially fraudulent returns worth $1.15 billion in 
        refunds.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\Testimony of Steven T. Miller, Deputy Commissioner for Services 
and Enforcement, Internal Revenue Service, Before the Senate Committee 
on Finance, Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth, 
March 20, 2012.

         LIssuing identification numbers to taxpayers 
        whose identities have been stolen in order to 
        facilitate their income tax filing and prevent others 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
        from stealing their identity.

         LImplementing procedures for using personal 
        information gathered by law enforcement to flag 
        taxpayer accounts that may be subject to identity 
        theft.

         LExpanding how the IRS uses lists of prisoners 
        in order to stop inmates from filing false returns.

         LEstablishing a specialized unit for identity 
        theft within the IRS's Criminal Investigation division.

    A recently-released report by the Treasury Inspector 
General for Tax Administration, however, found that the IRS was 
falling short on its efforts to combat identity theft. Among 
the issues cited by the Inspector General are the length of 
time the IRS takes to resolve a case, the inadequacy of 
communications with victims, confusing and conflicting internal 
advice on how to handle such cases, and evidence that the IRS 
does not use the information it has to identify trends in 
identity theft in order to prevent future crimes.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\Most Taxpayers Whose Identities Have Been Stolen to Commit 
Refund Fraud Do Not Receive Quality Customer Service, Treasury 
Inspector General for Tax Administration, May 3, 2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This legislation is designed to combat tax return ID theft 
specifically; it does not correct or address the Supreme 
Court's decision in Flores-Figueroa v. United States, 556 U.S. 
646 (2009), involving another aspect of the identity fraud 
statute. In Flores-Figueroa, the Supreme Court held 9-0 that 
the aggravated identity theft statute requires the government 
to prove that the defendant knew the means of identification 
belonged to another person. Because of this interpretation, it 
is easier for a defendant to escape responsibility by asserting 
that while the documents he possessed were improper, he did not 
have knowledge that they belonged to an actual person. Until 
this decision is addressed, attempts to combat identity theft 
within the United States will be hampered.
    In light of the Flores-Figueroa opinion, the Committee 
supports amending Section 1028A to correct the problem the 
Supreme Court addressed. To achieve this, in 2011, the 
Committee reported H.R. 2552, the Identity Theft Improvement 
Act of 2011. H.R. 2552 specifically amends Title 18, United 
States Code, Section 1028, so that the Government need not 
prove that the defendant knew the means of identification was 
of another person in order to prosecute for identity theft. 
This legislation would restore the identity theft statute and 
enable law enforcement to prosecute those who steal and use 
other people's identities.

                                Hearings

    The Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security 
held a hearing on June 28, 2012, on ``Identity Theft and Tax 
Preparation Fraud.'' Testimony was received from Ms. Rebecca 
Sparkman, Director, Operations Policy & Support, Criminal 
Investigation Division, Internal Revenue Service; Ms. Nina 
Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate, U.S. Department of Treasury; 
Mr. Sanford Zinman, National Tax Chair, National Conference of 
CPA Practitioners; and Mr. Michael Robinson, a victim of tax-
return identity theft.

                        Committee Consideration

    On July 10, 2012, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered the bill H.R. 4362 favorably reported without 
amendment, by voice vote, a quorum being present.

                            Committee Votes

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that there 
were no rollcall votes during the Committee's consideration of 
H.R. 4362.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives is inapplicable because this legislation does 
not provide new budgetary authority or increased tax 
expenditures.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee sets forth, with 
respect to the bill, H.R. 4362, the following estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, July 26, 2012.
Hon. Lamar Smith, Chairman,
Committee on the Judiciary,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4362, the ``STOP 
Identity Theft Act of 2012.''
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark 
Grabowicz, who can be reached at 226-2860.
            Sincerely,
                                      Douglas W. Elmendorf,
                                                  Director.

Enclosure

cc:
        Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
        Ranking Member




              H.R. 4362--STOP Identity Theft Act of 2012.

      As ordered reported by the House Committee on the Judiciary 
                           on July 10, 2012.




    H.R. 4362 would direct the Department of Justice (DOJ) to 
better utilize its existing resources to combat identity theft 
related to the filing of tax returns. The department currently 
allocates its funding to investigate and prosecute a wide range 
of criminal activity, including identify theft. CBO expects 
that the legislation could result in a reallocation of DOJ 
resources, but we estimate that implementing the bill would 
have no significant net cost to the Federal Government. 
Enacting H.R. 4362 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    H.R. 4362 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of State, local, or tribal 
governments.
    On August 1, 2011, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 
2552, the Identity Theft Improvement Act of 2011, as ordered 
reported by the House Committee on the Judiciary on July 21, 
2011. That legislation would eliminate the state-of-mind 
requirement in certain identity theft cases. CBO estimated that 
H.R. 2552 would not have a significant impact on the Federal 
budget.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz. 
The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    The Committee states that pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, H.R. 
4362 is intended to clarify the statutory authority for the 
longstanding practice of the Department of Justice of providing 
investigatory assistance on request of State and local 
authorities with respect to certain violent crimes.

                          Advisory on Earmarks

    In accordance with clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H.R. 4362 does not contain any 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of rule XXI.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

Section 1--Short Title.
    This section cites the short title of the Act as the 
Stopping Tax Offenders and Prosecuting Identity Theft Act (STOP 
Identity Theft).
Section 2--Use of Department of Justice Resources With Regard to Tax 
        Return Identity Theft.
    This section encourages the Department of Justice to 
dedicate additional resources, including the use of 
investigative task forces, to address tax-return identity 
theft. The section encourages the Department to focus its 
resources in areas with a high rate of tax-return identity 
theft, to coordinate investigations with state and local law 
enforcement agencies, and to protect vulnerable victims, 
including veterans, seniors and minors.
Section 3--Victims of Identity Theft May Include Organizations.
    This section amends the Federal identity theft statute (18 
U.S.C. Sec. 1028) to clarify that the victim of such an offense 
includes not just individuals, but businesses and organizations 
as well.
Section 4--Tax Fraud as a Predicate for Aggravated Identity Theft.
    This section amends the Federal aggravated identity theft 
statute to add tax fraud to the list of predicate offenses.
Section 5--Reporting Requirement.
    This section instructs the Department of Justice to include 
in an existing annual report information about trends in tax-
return identity theft, the effectiveness of the additional 
prosecutorial tools provided by the Act, recommendations for 
additional improvements to Federal law, and the status of the 
Department's implementation of the DOJ IG's 2010 report 
entitled ``The Department of Justice's Efforts to Combat 
Identity Theft.''

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italics, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

                      TITLE 18, UNITED STATES CODE

PART I--CRIMES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 47--FRAUD AND FALSE STATEMENTS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 1028. Fraud and related activity in connection with identification 
                    documents, authentication features, and information

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d) In this section and section 1028A--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (7) the term ``means of identification'' means any 
        name or number that may be used, alone or in 
        conjunction with any other information, to identify a 
        [specific individual] specific person, including any--
                  (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 1028A. Aggravated identity theft

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) Definition.--For purposes of this section, the term 
``felony violation enumerated in subsection (c)'' means any 
offense that is a felony violation of--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (10) any provision contained in chapter 8 of title II 
        of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1321 
        et seq.) (relating to various immigration offenses); 
        [or]
          (11) section 208, 811, 1107(b), 1128B(a), or 1632 of 
        the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 408, 1011, 1307(b), 
        1320a-7b(a), and 1383a) (relating to false statements 
        relating to programs under the Act)[.]; or
          (12) section 7206 or 7207 of the Internal Revenue 
        Code of 1986.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                            Dissenting Views


                              INTRODUCTION

    H.R. 4362 amends the Federal aggravated identity theft 
statute to add tax fraud to the list of predicate offenses. The 
penalty for aggravated identity theft is a mandatory term of 
imprisonment of 2 years or 5 years for a terrorism offense. 
This bill would, therefore, subject more people to mandatory 
minimum sentences and would consequently present all of the 
problems associated with those sentences. For these reasons, 
and those stated below, we urge our colleagues to oppose this 
legislation and we respectfully dissent.

                       DESCRIPTION AND BACKGROUND

    Identity theft is a serious problem. Like other forms of 
identity theft, tax fraud through identity theft is a growing 
problem in the United States. This crime is committed when an 
individual uses the Social Security number and other 
information of another individual to file a false tax return 
with the Internal Revenue Service (``IRS'') or fraudulently 
claims someone as a dependant in order to receive a refund. Tax 
fraud through identity theft is often committed by gangs and 
organized crime organizations who defraud large groups of 
people.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Written Statement of Nina E Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate, 
Hearing on Tax Fraud by Identity Theft, Part 2: Statute, Progress, and 
Potential Solutions, Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic 
Growth, Committee on Finance, March 20, 2012, 2-3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The IRS detected 940,000 fake returns among the 2010 
returns alone, for which the IRS would have paid over $6.5 
billion in fraudulent payments if the fake returns had not been 
detected and stopped.\2\ The IRS estimates, however, that it 
did pay as much as $5.2 billion in fraudulent refunds in 2010 
for unidentified fake tax returns.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Testimony of the Honorable J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector 
General for Tax Administration, Joint Hearing before the Committee on 
Ways and Means, Subcommittees on Oversight and Social Security, U.S. 
House of Representatives, May 8, 2012, 1.
    \3\Id. at 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    H.R. 4362 directs the Department of Justice to bring more 
prosecutions of tax return identity theft; expands the 
definition of victims of identity theft to include 
organizations in addition to individuals; requires the 
Department of Justice to report on the incidence of tax return 
identity theft and enforcement efforts; and adds tax fraud as a 
predicate for aggravated identity theft under 18 U.S.C. 
Sec. 1028A(c), which subjects offenders to a mandatory minimum 
sentence of two or 5 years.\4\ A detailed section-by-section 
follows.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\See Charles Doyle, Mandatory Minimum Sentencing: Federal 
Aggravated Identity Theft, Congressional Research Service Report for 
Congress (Feb. 15, 2012), at 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Section 1, Short Title. This section cites the short title 
of the Act as the Stopping Tax Offenders and Prosecuting 
Identity Theft Act (STOP Identity Theft).
    Section 2, Use of Department of Justice Resources with 
Regard to Tax Return Identity Theft. This section encourages 
the Department of Justice to dedicate additional resources, 
including the use of investigative task forces, to address tax-
return identity theft. The section encourages the Department to 
focus its resources in areas with a high rate of tax-return 
identity theft, to coordinate investigations with state and 
local law enforcement agencies, and to protect vulnerable 
victims, including veterans, seniors and minors.
    Section 3, Victims of Identity Theft May Include 
Organizations. This section amends the Federal identity theft 
statute (18 U.S.C. Sec. 1028) to clarify that the victim of 
such an offense includes not just individuals, but businesses 
and organizations as well.
    Section 4, Tax Fraud as a Predicate for Aggravated Identity 
Theft. This section amends the Federal aggravated identity 
theft statute to add tax fraud to the list of predicate 
offenses. The penalty for aggravated identity theft is a 
mandatory term of imprisonment of 2 years or, for a terrorism 
offense, 5 years.
    Section 5, Reporting Requirement. This section instructs 
the Department of Justice to include in an existing annual 
report information about trends in tax-return identity theft, 
the effectiveness of the additional prosecutorial tools 
provided by the Act, recommendations for additional 
improvements to Federal law, and the status of the Department's 
implementation of the DOJ IG's 2010 report entitled ``The 
Department of Justice's Efforts to Combat Identity Theft.''

                        CONCERNS WITH H.R. 4362

    By adding certain tax offenses to the list of predicate 
crimes for aggravated identity theft, H.R. 4362 includes 
mandatory minimums of 2 or 5 years. Mandatory minimums have 
been studied extensively and have been found to distort 
rational sentencing systems, to discriminate against 
minorities, and to violate common sense. Even if everyone 
involved in a case, from arresting officer, prosecutor, judge 
and victim, believes that the mandatory minimum would be an 
unjust sentence for a particular defendant in a case, it still 
must be imposed. Mandatory minimum sentences, based merely on 
the name of a crime, remove sentencing discretion from the 
sentencing commission and the judge. Regardless of the role of 
the offender in the particular crime, the offender's record or 
lack thereof, or the facts and circumstances of the case, the 
judge has no discretion but to impose the mandatory minimum set 
by legislators long before the crime has been committed.
    One major consequence is that mandatory minimums contribute 
to over-incarceration. As Federal Public Defender Michael 
Nachmanoff testified before the U.S. Sentencing Commission in 
2009, ``[t]he Federal prison population is currently at 206,786 
inmates, a nearly five-fold increase since mandatory minimums 
and mandatory guidelines became law.''\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Statement of Michael Nachmanoff, Federal Public Defender for the 
Eastern District of Virginia, Public Hearing Before the United States 
Sentencing Commission, ``The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984: 25 Years 
Later,'' New York, New York, July 9, 2009, available at http://
www.fd.org/pdfllib/
Statement%20of%20Michael%20Nachmanoff%20USSC%20Regional%20Hearing%
207.9.09.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Congressman Robert 
C. ``Bobby'' Scott (D-VA) offered an amendment to double the 
statutory maximum for tax fraud identity theft and remove the 
mandatory minimums. As previously discussed, the current law 
provides for penalties of 2 years for aggravated identity theft 
and 5 years for aggravated identity theft involving terrorism. 
The amendment offered by Congressmen Conyers and Scott doubles 
those maximum sentences to 4 years for aggravated identity 
theft and 10 years for aggravated identity theft involving 
terrorism. The amendment also removes the mandatory minimum 
sentences. This approach is superior because it permits the 
sentencing judge to impose longer sentences than current law 
allows in cases where longer sentences are warranted but does 
not mandate sentences of a set length regardless of the 
circumstances. The amendment failed by voice vote.

                               CONCLUSION

    Although tax fraud identity theft is a serious problem and 
Congress has an interest in combating it, mandatory minimums 
are not the solution. H.R. 4362 includes several provisions 
that would have effectively addressed the problem, such as the 
provision directing the Department of Justice to bring more 
prosecutions of tax return identity theft, without causing the 
harms of mandatory minimums. With the mandatory minimums 
included, H.R. 4362 exacerbates current law by including one 
more irrational sentencing provision that will result in unjust 
sentences for some defendants.
    For the foregoing reasons, we respectfully dissent.

                                   John Conyers, Jr.
                                   Robert C. ``Bobby'' Scott.
                                   Melvin L. Watt.
                                   Zoe Lofgren.
                                   Judy Chu.