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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Defendant Sentenced For Conspiracy To File False Federal Tax Returns And Identity Theft

Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announced that Edna Yvonne Orr Goff, 37, of Thomaston, Georgia, was sentenced on January 7, 2014 to serve thirty six (36) months imprisonment for conspiracy to file false federal tax returns and aggravated identity theft by the Honorable Marc T. Treadwell, United States District Judge.

Ms. Goff and Michelle Blankenship were indicted on February 15, 2013 and charged with conspiracy to submit false tax returns and identity theft.   In essence, the charges involved the use of stolen tax payer identity information by Ms. Goff and Ms. Blankenship to file fraudulent tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service. The scheme resulted in a total loss of over $200,000.00 to the government.

Ms. Blankenship appeared in court on June 4, 2013 and entered a plea of guilty. She was sentenced on November 14, 2013 to serve eight (8) years in prison. In addition, she was ordered to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $224,136.00. Goff was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $15,000.00.

“Filing false tax returns and identity theft causes a rippling effect of loss to all law abiding citizens. hose committing these and other crimes will remain a focus of the Department of Justice,” said United States Attorney Michael Moore.

“These unscrupulous defendants thought they had figured out a clever scheme for obtaining money from the government,” stated IRS Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge, Veronica F.  Hyman-Pillot.  “As the defendants in this case have learned, stealing from the American people will not be tolerated and you will be held accountable.”

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charles L. Calhoun.

For additional information please contact Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office at (478) 621-2603.

Updated February 19, 2015