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July 13, 2011

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee


CARTER COUNTY RESIDENTS PLEAD GUILTY TO FEDERAL WIRE FRAUD

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. - Stephanie Ann Bare, 45, David Michael Bare, 52, and Kendra Ramsey Walker, 40, of Carter County, Tenn., entered pleas of guilty today, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville, to federal wire fraud and tax fraud charges. Sentencing for all three has been set for December 5, 2011, in Greeneville.

The Bares pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and filing a false income tax return. Walker pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting wire fraud. Over a five year period of time, the Bares bilked more than $500,000 from friends and associates through a confidence scheme which included the false claim that they owed taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and that the IRS had frozen their assets and Social Security Numbers, making it impossible for them to conduct routine financial transactions. Stephanie Bare recruited Walker to assist her after Walker initially provided her funds. Walker and the Bares created fake letters bearing the IRS logo, assumed the false persona of a non-existent IRS collections officer, and assumed the false persona of a non-existent Nashville lawyer in support of the elaborate scheme. Walker made telephone calls falsely pretending to be an IRS collections officer.

All three defendants face a maximum term of 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, a maximum term of supervised release of three years, a special assessment of $100, restitution as ordered by the district court, and forfeiture of a personal money judgment for the wire fraud offense. The Bares also face a maximum term of three years in prison, a maximum fine of $100,000, a maximum term of supervised release of one year, a maximum term of probation of five years, a special assessment of $100, restitution as ordered by the district court, and payment of the costs of prosecution as to the false tax return offenses.

U.S. Attorney William C. Killian noted that this particular scheme undermined public confidence in the integrity of the federal tax system and resulted in great financial and emotional injury to more than ten individual victims. "Federal law prohibits the impersonation of employees and officers of the United States," stated U.S. Attorney Killian. "This scheme is an example of especially reprehensible conduct because all criminal actions were performed in furtherance of the illegal scheme, in addition to the number of victims and amount of money involved."

On February 8, 2011, a 54-count indictment, which included the aforementioned charges, was returned against the Bares and Walker by a federal grand jury sitting in Greeneville, Tenn. This indictment was the result of an ongoing investigation by the IRS- Criminal Investigation. Helen Smith, Assistant U.S. Attorney, represented the United States.

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