January 3, 2012
Department of Justice
United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee
Stephanie Bare Sentenced To 46 Months In Federal Prison
Fake Inheritance and IRS Scam in Carter County, Tennessee
GREENEVILLE, Tenn.-- Stephanie Ann Bare, 46, of Elizabethton, Tenn., was sentenced in U.S. District Court at Greeneville, to serve 46 months in prison, by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Judge. The sentence was the result of a July 13, 2011, guilty plea by Bare to a federal grand jury indictment charging her with federal wire fraud and tax charges.
The indictment and subsequent conviction of Bare was the result of a year-long investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Criminal Investigation and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. During the course of five years, Bare defrauded 19 victims of more than $500,000 in loans based upon a non-existent inheritance which was allegedly frozen by the IRS. Bare signed fake promissory notes promising to pay exorbitant rates of interest; gave deeds on property she did not own; fabricated letters from the IRS and an attorney who allegedly represented her in her dispute with the IRS; and sent hundreds of fake communications promising to repay the funds. She impersonated an employee of the IRS as part of the scheme. She and her husband David Bare dissipated the stolen funds in an extravagant lifestyle which included trips to Las Vegas and New York City. Many of her victims were family and friends past retirement age and/or in poor health, who lost their life savings.
In imposing sentence, Judge Greer commented that Bare’s conduct was despicable considering all the victims who were harmed by her conduct. None of the stolen funds have been repaid and the likelihood of repayment is very low. In addition to her prison term, Bare was sentenced to serve three years on supervised release, and ordered to pay $511,315 restitution to the fraud victims, $41,995 restitution to the Internal Revenue Service, and $200 in special assessments. Interest on restitution and a fine were waived, due to Bare’s inability to pay.