A Northern Kentucky IRS Employee and a Florida Man Accused of Stealing Identities, Committing Mail Fraud and Filing a False Tax Claim
COVINGTON, KY - A financial technician, employed in a Boone County, Kentucky office of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), has been charged with multiple crimes relating to her unauthorized access of an IRS computer, to obtain personal information about tax payers.
On July 18, 2013, a federal grand jury returned a sealed indictment against Joy Fox, 32, of Independence, Ky. The indictment, which was unsealed today, charges Fox with eight counts of intentionally exceeding her authorized access to an IRS computer, for the purpose of improperly obtaining personal identifying information of tax payers. She is also charged with three counts of mail fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft in relation to the mail fraud.
According to the indictment, another individual, Patrick Sharpe, 23, of Tallahassee, Fla., was charged as a co-defendant in the case. Sharpe and Fox allegedly used the personal identifying information of tax payers to obtain online prepaid debit cards, in tax payers’ names, and then attempted to fund the cards using the tax payers’ social security benefits. Once the cards were approved, the defendants caused the cards to be mailed to addresses in Kentucky. Fox and Sharpe are also charged with conspiracy to file a false claim for a tax refund.
Kerry B. Harvey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, James D. Robnett, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigations Division, Tampa, Fla., and Special Agent in Charge Dwaine Brinson, Treasury Inspector General Tax Administration, Chicago Field Division, jointly announced the indictment.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by agents of the IRS, Criminal Investigation Division, Tallahassee, Fla., the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, Tallahassee, Fla., and agents of the U.S. Treasury Inspector General Tax Administration, Covington, Ky. The indictment was presented to the grand jury by Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Voorhees.
Fox appeared in court today, while Sharpe is scheduled to appear on August 14, 2013. The Court has scheduled trial for September 23, 2013. The mail fraud charges carry a maximum of 20 years imprisonment; the exceeding authorized access charges carry a maximum of 5 years imprisonment; the aggravated identity theft charges carry two years imprisonment, which must run consecutively to any other sentence imposed; and the filing a false claim for refund charge carries a maximum of 10 years imprisonment. The defendants could also be fined a maximum of $250,000. However, any sentence imposed would come after the court considers the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statutes.
Any indictment is an accusation only. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial, at which the government must prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.