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Former Austin Area Woman Sentenced To Federal Prison For Identity Theft and Wire Fraud Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 12, 2013

In Sherman, TX, this morning, Lynetta Mae Washington, formerly of the Austin area and current Denton, TX, resident, was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison for her role in an identity theft and wire fraud scheme announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman, FBI Special Agent in Charge Armando Fernandez and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Steve McCullough in San Antonio.

In addition to the prison term, United States District Judge Thad Heartfield ordered that Washington pay $407,448.62 restitution and be placed under supervised release for a period of five years after completing her prison term.

On November 28, 2012, Washington pleaded guilty to two counts of making false claims, one count of misuse of a Social Security Number and one count of wire fraud.  By pleading guilty, Washington admitted that in January 2007, she fraudulently assumed the identities of her father-in-law and deceased mother to present the Internal Revenue Service with two falsified 2006 Income Tax Returns in which she claimed entitlement to a total of $5,730.00 in tax refunds.  According to court records, Washington also knowingly submitted a written Renewal Application for Loan Officer License with the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending in which she fraudulently claimed her mother’s Social Security Number as hers in order for her license to be renewed.  Furthermore, Washington admitted that while working as a loan officer on behalf of one or more mortgage companies from 2006 to 2009, she collected a fee for providing fictitious employment and income information on a mortgage application in order to secure the loan

This prosecution resulted from an investigation conducted by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the Texas Department of Public Safety.  The matter was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Hoff. 

The case was transferred to the Eastern District of Texas from the Austin Division of the Western District of Texas for plea and sentencing due to the defendant’s residency.  United States Attorney Robert Pitman is grateful for the valuable assistance provided by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas.

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