Family Members Sentenced in Alabama in $1.9 Million Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Scheme
Several family members were sentenced Friday in the Middle District of Alabama for their involvement in a $1.9 million dollar stolen identity refund fraud scheme, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. Barbara Murry, Veronica Temple and Yolanda Moses each received a sentence of 57 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,908,659. Douglas Murry received a sentence of 24 months in prison and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $142,038. Almetta Johnson received a sentence of eight months home detention. Lee Moses, Jeffrey Temple and Courtney Johnson each received a sentence of probation.
On April 25, 2012, Barbara Murry, Douglas Murry, Yolanda Moses, Lee Moses, Veronica Temple, Jeffrey Temple, Almetta Johnson and Courtney Johnson were charged in a multi-count indictment by a federal grand jury on a variety of charges relating to an identity theft and tax fraud scheme. According to court documents, between January 2006 and April 2012, the defendants and their co-conspirators directed over 900 false tax refunds claiming in excess of $1.9 million to several bank accounts controlled by the defendants and their co-conspirators. The conspiracy consisted of two parts. First, the defendants received false tax refunds into their bank accounts and provided a portion of the funds to the third-party preparers. None of the defendants obtained the identities or prepared the tax returns in this part of the conspiracy.
According to court documents, the second part of the conspiracy centered on B & B Weaving Shop and B & B Tax Service. Barbara Murry owned and operated B & B Weaving Shop, located in Montgomery, Ala. B& B Weaving Shop was located in the same building as B & B Tax Service. Barbara Murry’s daughters, Yolanda Moses and Veronica Temple, ran B & B Tax Service. Veronica Temple and her sister, Yolanda Moses, obtained stolen identities from multiple sources. Veronica Temple, Yolanda Moses, and others filed false tax returns from both B & B Tax Service and their homes and directed the tax refunds to numerous bank accounts controlled by the defendants and their co-conspirators. Veronica Temple, Yolanda Moses, and Barbara Murry recruited individuals, including Douglas Murry, to open bank accounts in furtherance of the scheme. Many of the identity victims were 16 and 17 year-old minors.
“The Justice Department will investigate and prosecute stolen identity refund fraud crimes, whether they are committed by a single thief, or a ring of thieves,” said Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally. “The prison sentences handed down today demonstrate that such invasions of personal privacy and theft of public monies will not be tolerated.”
“Individuals who commit identity theft and refund fraud of this magnitude deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” said Richard Weber, Chief IRS Criminal Investigation. “These individuals demonstrated a blatant disregard of the integrity of the United States tax system and caused immeasurable hardship to innocent victims. IRS Criminal Investigation remains committed to the pursuit of identity theft and, together with our partners at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, we will hold those who engage in similar conduct accountable.”
Assistant Attorney General Keneally commended the efforts of special agents of IRS - Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case, and Tax Division Trial Attorneys Jason H. Poole and Michael Boteler, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Morris, who prosecuted the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found at www.justice.gov/tax.