STATESBORO, GA -- TIDAESHA V. TAYLOR, 27, and GREGORY F. SMITH, JR., 21, were sentenced last week before United States District Court Judge B. Avant Edenfield in Statesboro, Georgia for their roles in a stolen identity and tax fraud scheme centered in Statesboro, Georgia. In total, 13 individuals were charged, convicted, and sentenced in a scheme to steal identities and submit false tax returns that cost the American taxpayers over $1 million in bogus tax refunds.
United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver said, “In the midst of another tax season, cases like these demonstrate the substantial risks to the millions of honest tax filers of having their personal information stolen and fraudulently used. The United States Attorney’s Office will continue its efforts to protect the integrity of the federal income tax filing system and to prosecute those responsible for stealing the identities of legitimate taxpayers in order to deny them the refunds to which they are entitled.”
J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated, “This case involved numerous individuals working together to defraud the government, as well as taxpayers, in a systematic manner. The law enforcement response, similarly, consisted of various law enforcement groups working together in a systematic manner to stem the tide of this organized criminal enterprise. The FBI will continue to dedicate significant resources and personnel toward the investigation of such groups that would do so much harm to so many.”
IRS Special Agent in Charge Veronica F. Hyman-Pillot stated, “The sentences these defendants received will not replace the losses that were incurred or the harm endured by the victims. However, they do illustrate that IRS Criminal Investigation, along with our law enforcement partners, are committed to pursuing individuals who commit these types of crimes. We will continue to unite and utilize every tool available to investigate those who conspire with each other to victimize members of our community for their own personal gain.”
In 2013, Taylor and Smith, along with 11 others, were indicted on charges ranging from a conspiracy to defraud the IRS to identity theft. According to evidence presented during guilty plea and sentencing hearings, these schemers stole personal identifiers, such as names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers, from medical records and other sources, which they then used to submit fraudulent tax returns in order to obtain tax refunds to which they were not entitled.
Taylor and Smith were the last to be sentenced of the 13 defendants originally charged. Each of the 13 defendants and their sentences are as follows:
ERICA BALDWIN, 31, of Statesboro, Georgia, was sentenced on January 7, 2014, to 81 months in prison.
TRACY DENSON, 44, of Statesboro, Georgia, was sentenced on February 13, 2014, to 100 months in prison.
SHAKITA EASON, 30, of Statesboro, Georgia, was sentenced on January 7, 2014, to 104 months in prison.
YOLANDA EDMOND, 36, of Statesboro, Georgia, was sentenced on October 8, 2013, to 32 months in prison.
GLORIA EVANS, 44, of Statesboro, Georgia, was sentenced on October 8, 2013, to 39 months in prison.
JOSHUA MINCEY, 20, of Statesboro, Georgia, was sentenced on January 7, 2014, to 48 months in prison.
PORSCHE S. PINKNEY, 19, of Augusta, Georgia, was sentenced on January 14, 2014, to 65 months in prison.
DWAN SCOTT, 32, of Statesboro, Georgia, was sentenced on January 14, 2014, to 72 months in prison.
JENNA SCOTT, 28, of Jacksonville, Florida, was sentenced on January 23, 2014, to 75 months in prison.
GREGORY F. SMITH, JR., 21, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, was sentenced on March 5, 2014, to 95 months in prison.
ASHA K. SPAULDING, 37, of Claxton, Georgia, was sentenced on October 8, 2013, to 154 months in prison.
TIDAESHA V. TAYLOR, 27, of College Park, Georgia, was sentenced on March 5, 2014, to 75 months in prison.
ANDREA WEBB, 31, of Register, Georgia, was sentenced on January 7, 2014, to 51 months in prison.
FBI Special Agent Marcus Kirkland and IRS-CI Special Agent Gwen Weston led the investigation in this case. They were assisted by the Statesboro Police Department, the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office, and Region 5 of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Lamont A. Belk prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States. For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.