The IRS is cracking down on schemes that use stolen identities to claim major payouts. ID thieves from around the country are now paying the price for their tax-related crimes.
Tacoma ex-con used pen-pal program for ID theft
A Washington woman who used a prison pen-pal program for identity theft was sentenced to 30 months in prison, the Courier-Herald reports.
Between 2007 and 2009, Shannon Henderson was an inmate in a Washington women's correctional center. During that time, court records say she became pen pals with inmates across the country and obtained stolen identities from them and purchased identities of employees of a Washington janitorial services company.
Authorities say Henderson filed more than 150 false tax returns seeking more than $170,000 in refunds. The IRS says it sent about $56,000 to her before the scheme was discovered.
Two Connecticut men sentenced in separate tax schemes
Two Connecticut men were sentenced to multi-year prison terms for tax-related identity theft, according to the New Haven Register.
Julio Trinidad received a 12-year federal sentence for his role in a $7.5 million stolen-ID tax scheme. Trinidad pleaded guilty to stealing public money and aggravated identity theft.
In a separate case, Bernard Brantley was sentenced to two years in prison for collecting victims' private data and giving it to a co-conspirator to file bogus tax refunds. Prosecutors say Brantley filed for $2.5 million and received more than $1 million. Brantley pleaded guilty to conspiracy was ordered to pay about $400,000 restitution.
Six defendants get prison time for tax refund fraud
Six defendants have been sentenced for their roles in an identity theft and tax fraud scheme spanning several states, KDLT reports.
Jennifer Robinson of North Dakota, Undra Stewart Franks of Arkansas, Timothy L. Brister Jr. of Florida and Shawnte Washington of Florida were each sentenced to one day in custody followed by two years of supervised release for conspiracy and two months in prison followed by one year of supervised release for identity. All were ordered to repay the IRS--Robinson was ordered to repay $33,015, Franks and Brister were ordered to pay $9,769 and Washington was ordered to pay $16,065.
Anna Weber of North Dakota was sentenced to three years of probation for conspiracy and ordered to pay the IRS $73,146 in restitution. Donta Moore of Missouri was sentenced to 27 months in custody followed by two years of supervised release for conspiracy and two years in custody followed by one year of supervised release for identity theft. Moore was also ordered to repay $160,176 to the IRS.
Florida woman sentenced for filing bogus returns
A Florida woman accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the IRS with bogus returns was sentenced to 30 months in prison, according to News 4 JAX.
Prosecutors say that over only a few months, Katrina Graham filed bogus returns for 44 people, including four who were deceased.
Graham pleaded guilty to conspiracy and five counts of theft of government funds. She was ordered to more than $366,000 in restitution.