News and Press Releases

Columbia Tax Fraud Conviction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21, 2013

Contact Person: Beth Drake (803) 929-3000

Columbia, South Carolina -----United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated that Deanna Sumter, age 32, of Columbia, South Carolina, pled guilty today in federal court in Columbia, to Conspiracy to Commit Tax Fraud, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.    United States District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie accepted the plea and will sentence Ms. Sumter on August 21, 2013.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that Sumter and others conspired to acquire and use personal identifying information from others, without their permission, to file false taxes in their names, and receive tax refunds from the claims.  The co-conspirators made $106,122.00 of false tax claims, though the IRS was able to suspend over half of the refund payments.

Mr. Nettles stated the maximum penalty Sumter can receive is a fine of $250,000.00 and/or imprisonment for five years, plus a special assessment of $100.00.  IRSCriminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Jeannine A. Hammett said, “Identity theft is a growing problem given the widespread availability of personal information, and this defendant’s scheme provides a startling example of the ways that stolen personal information can be used to steal money. Here, the crime is especially egregious because the defendant stole tax money paid by honest citizens.”  U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles stated, “the U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to work with the IRS to prosecute those who cheat the system and cause those who play fairly to pay more.  Also, this case involved the theft of personal identifying information, which we take extremely seriously.  We are satisfied that this individual has been held accountable for her actions, and we hope that others with similar bad ambitions will be dissuaded from breaking the law.”

The case was investigated by agents of the IRS and the US Postal Service.  Assistant United States Attorney Jamie Lea Nabors Schoen of the Columbia office handled the case.

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