FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2011
TDD (202) 514-1888
JURY CONVICTS ALABAMA WOMAN OF AGGRAVATED IDENTITY THEFT AND MAKING FALSE STATEMENTS TO THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE
WASHINGTON - A Montgomery, Ala., jury has convicted Sharon Thurman of Elmore, Ala., of 14 counts of making false claims, two counts of theft of government money and two counts of aggravated identity theft, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. The trial began on Feb. 22, 2011.
According to the indictment and evidence introduced during trial, Thurman owned and operated Sharonís Tax Service in Elmore. Between January and April 2008, Thurman filed 14 fraudulent tax returns using stolen identities. Thurman directed the tax refunds for those returns to be deposited into her bank accounts. At trial, the 14 victims of identity theft testified that they did not know Thurman, they did not authorize her to file tax returns on their behalf, the tax returns filed by Thurman were fictitious and they did not receive any of the tax refunds from those false returns.
U.S. District Judge W. Harold Albritton III, has not yet scheduled sentencing. Thurman faces a minimum of two years in prison, a maximum of 94 years in prison and a maximum fine of $4 million.
Acting Assistant Attorney General John A. DiCicco of the Justice Departmentís Tax Division commended the IRS Criminal Investigation special agents who investigated the case as well as Tax Division Trial Attorneys Justin Gelfand and Michael Boteler and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Morris, who prosecuted the case. Acting Assistant Attorney General DiCicco also thanked U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama Leura G. Canary and her entire office for their assistance.
More information about the Justice Departmentís Tax Division and its enforcement efforts is available at www.usdoj.gov/tax/.