SIX CHARGED IN IDENTITY THEFT CONSPIRACY
Jackson, Miss – Ladonna Cooper, 30, of Jackson, Marietta Harris, 37, of Jackson, Tony Jones, 30, of Jackson, Nikki Thomas, 37, of Jackson, S’Ade Tyler, 27, of Jackson, and Shekeila Jones, 26, of Jackson, were charged in a 42-count federal indictment for conspiracy to commit identity theft and tax fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis, Allen Bryant, Resident Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service, and Damon Rowe, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.
According to the indictment, the defendants were involved in a conspiracy to illegally obtain the names and social security numbers of others which they then used to file fraudulent federal tax returns for the purpose of obtaining fraudulent refunds.
“Identity theft is a serious crime that victimizes honest taxpayers and causes immense hardship,” said Damon Rowe, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. Today’s actions should serve as a warning that we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s office to hold accountable those individuals who undermine our income tax system by filing false claims for refunds.”
Five of the defendants appeared for arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Ball on January 29, 2013. They are scheduled for trial before U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate on April 8, 2013. Shekeila Jones remains at large.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and Internal Revenue ServiceCriminal Investigation with assistance from the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, the Mississippi Department of Corrections and the Mississippi Department of Revenue.
The public is reminded that, as in any criminal case, a person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The charges filed merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud from a person or an organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of storm victims, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at:
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