Riverview Woman Pleads Guilty To Stolen Identity Refund Fraud
Tampa, FL – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Ashley C. Guy (30, Riverview) today pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft charges. She faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on the wire fraud charge and a 2 year consecutive sentence on the aggravated identity theft charge. In her plea agreement, Guy agreed to make full restitution to the Internal Revenue Service and to forfeit $309,895 to the United States, representing the amount of the proceeds obtained as a result of the wire fraud scheme. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
Guy was indicted on October 3, 2013.
According to the plea agreement, Ashley C. Guy a/k/a “Ashley C. Gay” devised and participated in a scheme to defraud the United States out of tax refunds by using stolen identities to electronically file false federal income tax returns. During a search warrant executed at Guy’s residence, federal agents uncovered lists containing more than 200 names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers, as well as at least 15 prepaid debit cards in the names of others. The search also uncovered documents containing information on the filing of false tax returns, $1,500 in U.S. currency from a small safe in Guy’s living room, and $642 in cash from a purse in her master bedroom. In addition, agents found a trash can on the back porch that had been used for burning documents related to the fraud. The agents were able to recover a list of personal identifying information that had not been completely burned.
Between January 2012 and April 2013, approximately 100 false federal income tax returns were filed from Guy’s house, claiming $560,713 in refunds. Additionally, another 112 false returns, claiming $801,011 in refunds, were filed from different locations, but were linked to Guy. The IRS was able to stop many of these fraudulent refund claims. Out of the 212 total returns claiming roughly $1,361,724 in refunds, the IRS was ultimately defrauded into paying $309,895.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Tampa Police Department, with assistance from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew J. Mueller and Trial Attorney Jason H. Poole of the Department of Justice, Tax Division.