Alabama Woman Pleads Guilty to Identity Theft and Tax Charges
Tax Return Preparation Business Owner Unlawfully Used Stolen Identities To Obtain Fraudulent Tax Refunds
The Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that Loretta Fergerson pleaded guilty today before Magistrate Judge Charles S. Coody in Montgomery, Ala., to conspiring to defraud the United States government, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Fergerson and a co-defendant were charged by a grand jury in a 22-count indictment that was unsealed on March 30, 2011.
According to the plea agreement, Fergerson owned and operated a tax return preparation business called Fast Tax Cash in Montgomery. From 2005 through 2008, Fergerson and her employees filed tax returns using stolen identities in order to claim fraudulent tax refunds. Additionally, Fergerson admitted that she and her employees filed tax returns for Fast Tax Cash clients that contained false information on the tax return in order to obtain higher refunds for customers to which they were not entitled. Fergerson further admitted that she created false driver’s licenses and false Social Security cards to be placed in customer files for returns that were prepared using stolen identities.
A sentencing date has not yet been set. Fergerson faces a maximum potential sentence of 32 years in prison and fines of up to $750,000.
The case was investigated by the IRS-Criminal Investigation and is being prosecuted by trial attorneys Charles M. Edgar, Jr. and Michelle M. Petersen of the Justice Department's Tax Division.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax.