WASHINGTON – Following a four-day jury trial in Baton Rouge, La., a federal jury convicted Angela Myers today of wire fraud, making false claims, subscribing to false tax returns and aggravated identity theft, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced.
Based on the evidence presented at trial, Myers operated "Angie's Tax Service," a tax preparation business located in Baton Rouge. Myers electronically filed false claims for tax refunds using the names and Social Security numbers of identity theft victims. Myers filed the identity theft tax returns using a unique preparer identification number assigned to her daughter. Many of the victims were nursing home patients who resided at Port Allen Care Center in Port Allen, La., and who did not have the ability to leave the nursing home.
The evidence also revealed that Myers lied on her own 2007 and 2008 federal income tax returns, failing to report hundreds of thousands of dollars of tax preparation fees that she earned at Angie's Tax Service and used to buy various items, including an RV and a $50,000 investment product.
"Prosecuting stolen identity refund fraud is a top priority of the Justice Department," said Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Tax Division Kathryn Keneally. "The verdicts returned today demonstrate that the American people will not tolerate criminals who prey on the most vulnerable in our society to enrich themselves."
"Identity theft is a very serious crime that victimizes honest taxpayers and causes immense hardship," stated Richard Weber, Chief, IRS Criminal Investigation. "Many of Myers' victims were nursing home patients. Be assured that IRS has made a commitment to pursue identity theft and we will work tirelessly with our partners at the U.S. Attorney's Office to hold those who engage in similar conduct accountable."
Assistant Attorney General Keneally commended the efforts of special agents of IRS - Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case, and Trial Attorneys Justin Gelfand and Jason Poole, who prosecuted the case with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Louisiana.