WASHINGTON – Janika Fernae Bates Millbrook, Ala., was convicted of identity theft, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to make false claims for tax refunds, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today.
According to evidence introduced at trial, Bates obtained the names and Social Security numbers of student loan borrowers from the databases at her former employer, Electronic Data Systems, and conspired to use the stolen identifying information to steal money from the government. Several victims testified that they did not consent to the use of their names and Social Security numbers on tax returns and testified that they did not receive any money from refunds generated from the false documents filed with the IRS. Evidence also revealed that Bates and her co-conspirator, Keshia Brayboy, who pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return in 2009 and testified at trial, fraudulently obtained refund anticipation loans from the bank HSBC predicated on the fraudulently filed tax returns.
Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 19, 2011. Bates faces a minimum of two years in prison, a maximum of 354 years in prison and a maximum fine of $6,250,000.
This case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation and is being prosecuted by Justice Department Tax Division Trial Attorneys Justin Gelfand and Jason Poole. Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division, John A. DiCicco, thanked U.S. Attorney George L. Beck Jr. and his entire office for their assistance.