Crystal Sayles, of Montgomery County, Ala., was sentenced today to 64 months in prison for filing false claims, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. Sayles had pleaded guilty to those charges on May 17, 2012. She was also ordered to pay over $1 million in restitution and will serve three years on supervised release following her release from federal prison. In addition to the sentence imposed today, Sayles had also agreed to the forfeiture of a Mercedes Benz as part of her plea agreement.
According to her plea agreement, between January 2010 and July 2011, Sayles and others were involved with the filing of at least 482 fraudulent tax returns using stolen identities. These returns sought over $2 million in tax refunds. All of the returns had been filed through a tax preparation business called Simmons Financial, which Sayles opened in the name of another individual in order to conceal her own involvement. The indictment alleged that the refunds were often directed to prepaid debit cards and in the plea agreement, Sayles admitted to using a debit card loaded with a fraudulently obtained refund to receive cash.
The case was investigated by Special Agents of the IRS - Criminal Investigation. Trial attorneys Jason H. Poole and Michael Boteler of the United States Department of Justice, Tax Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Brown prosecuted the case.
Additional information about the Justice Department’s Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found at www.justice.gov/tax .