BATON ROUGE, LA – United States Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux, Jr. announced that BRENDA MATTHEWS, age 59, was sentenced to 12 months and 1 day imprisonment for making false claims to an agency of the United States and two counts of identity theft. The Court also ordered restitution in the amount of $117,656.
MATTHEWS’ sentence this morning follows her guilty plea to the charges at her rearraignment on October 25, 2012. She admitted that, in July and August 2009, she filed 20 tax returns for tax year 2008 fraudulently claiming refunds based on First Time Homebuyer Credits. The returns prepared by MATTHEWS listed the names and Social Security numbers of others who had allegedly purchased homes, when in fact, the homes had not been purchased. In some instances, MATTHEWS used the Social Security numbers of people who did not know their identities were being used to file fraudulent tax returns. In all, the fraudulent returns, which reported the taxpayers as having no income, generated refunds in excess of $117,656.
“IRS Criminal Investigation continues to aggressively pursue the perpetrators of identity theft schemes,” stated Damon Rowe, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigations. “Identity theft continues to be a top priority for IRS.”
The investigation of this matter was conducted by the IRS-Criminal Investigations. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Susan C. Amundson.