News and Press Releases

Seven Memphians Plead Guilty To Theft Of Government Funds

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10,2012

Memphis, TN - Edward L. Stanton, III, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee,
and Rick Harlow, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Memphis Field Office,
announced that seven individuals have pled guilty to stealing United States Department of Treasury funds
through the filing of false income tax returns, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §641. According to the
Informations filed with the court and the facts recited during the pleas:

At different times from 2009-2011, several defendants obtained the names, dates of birth and
Social Security numbers of individuals without their knowledge or consent and thereafter filed
taxes claiming refunds using this information.

Some of the defendants would either open bank accounts themselves or have other individuals
open accounts for the sole purpose of having the United States Department of Treasury tax
refunds associated with the false tax returns electronically deposited into the accounts.
The following individuals have pleaded guilty in separate cases to participating in this fraud:

Tamaracina Birdse, Age 26, of Memphis, TN (theft of approximately $1,014,000)
Cortneyo Bougard, Age 23, of Memphis, TN (theft of approximately $540,000)
Ronald Black, Age 36, of Memphis, TN (theft of approximately $200,000)
Katrina Banks, Age 21, of Memphis, TN (theft of approximately $200,000)
Diedra Ewing, Age 39, of Memphis, TN (theft of approximately $70,000)
Jeremy Moss, Age 25, of Memphis, TN (theft of approximately $53,000)
Nicholas Biles, Age 33, of Memphis, TN (theft of approximately $17,000)


“We will continue to aggressively pursue those individuals who are brazen enough to steal social security
numbers, and then file fraudulent tax returns for their own selfish and illegal gains,” stated Edward L.
Stanton, III, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. “Today’s guilty pleas should
send a clear message to those who scheme to defraud the federal government: you will be prosecuted to
the fullest extent of the law.”

All face up to 10 years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. There is no parole in the federal prison
system. These cases were investigated by the United States Secret Service, and are being prosecuted by
Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Hall on behalf of the government.

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