Alabama Resident Indicted in Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Scheme
Bridgette Rivers, a resident of Montgomery, Ala., was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy and theft of government funds related to her participation in a scheme to use stolen identities to file fraudulent tax returns, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today.
According to the indictment, Rivers provided identity information to co-conspirators, who then used the stolen identities, among other identities, to file false tax returns that fraudulently requested tax refunds from the IRS. Rivers is also alleged to have recruited another individual to provide her bank account information for use in the conspiracy. Fraudulently obtained tax refunds allegedly went into that individual’s bank account and the individual would then withdraw the money to give to Rivers.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, Rivers faces a maximum potential sentence of 10 years in prison for the conspiracy charge and each theft of public funds charge. She would also be subject to fines, mandatory forfeiture and restitution if convicted.
This case was investigated by special agents of IRS - Criminal Investigation. Trial Attorneys Michael Boteler and Jason Poole of the Justice Department’s Tax Division are prosecuting the case, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Alabama and, in particular, Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Brown.