Alabama Woman Pleads Guilty for Involvement in Identity Theft Tax Scheme
An Alabama woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of conspiracy to file false claims and one count of aggravated identity theft for her involvement in a stolen identity tax refund fraud (SIRF) scheme, Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Larry J. Wszalek for the Justice Department's Tax Division and U.S. Attorney George L. Beck Jr. for the Middle District of Alabama announced.
Charnesha Alexander and her co-conspirators filed false tax returns using stolen identities between January 2011 and December 2013, according to court documents. Alexander acquired stolen identities from various sources, including the identities of employees from a company in Columbus, Georgia. Alexander and her co-conspirators also filed the false income tax returns in question using several Electronic Filing Identification Numbers issued in the names of sham tax businesses. As a result, Alexander and her co-conspirators obtained possession of the fraudulent tax refunds in the form of U.S. Treasury checks, refund anticipation loan checks, and prepaid debit cards. Alexander and her co-conspirators cashed the fraudulently obtained checks at several businesses located in Alabama. Alexander also deposited fraudulent refund checks into a bank account that she controlled.
A sentencing date has not been scheduled for Alexander. She faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for the conspiracy charge and an additional statutory mandatory sentence of two-years in prison for aggravated identity theft.
The case was investigated by special agents of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of the Inspector General. Trial Attorneys Michael C. Boteler, Charles M. Edgar Jr. and Gregory Bailey of the Tax Division are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Brown for the Middle District of Alabama.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.