Alabama Woman Sentenced for Stolen Identity Refund Fraud
Ivory Bolen, of Dothan, Alabama, was sentenced to serve 42 months in prison today to be followed by three years of supervised release for committing stolen identity refund fraud (SIRF) crimes, announced Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney George L. Beck Jr. for the Middle District of Alabama. Bolen previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
According to the plea agreement, between January 2012 and June 2013, Bolen was involved in SIRF crimes, the use of stolen identities to steal money from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by filing fraudulent tax returns claiming refunds in the victims’ names. She admitted that she obtained stolen identities from various sources, including the Social Security Death Index and jail records, and to filing fraudulent tax returns using those stolen identities from public WiFi hotspots in the Dothan area. Bolen had the fraudulently obtained refunds deposited onto prepaid debit cards and recruited individuals from a homeless shelter to cash out the cards for her in an effort to avoid surveillance. In her plea agreement, Bolen also admitted to possessing hundreds of stolen identities in Tampa, Florida. Altogether, the false tax returns filed by Bolen fraudulently claimed more than $800,000 in refunds. Many of the returns were detected as fraudulent by the IRS and stopped. However, Bolen successfully defrauded the IRS into paying over $200,000 in illegitimate refunds, and was ordered to pay $209,243 in restitution to the IRS.
This case was investigated by special agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigation and by the Tampa Police Department. Trial Attorneys Jason Poole and Charles Edgar of the Tax Division are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Brown and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Alabama.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found at the division website .