Former Alabama State Employee Sentenced to Prison for Stealing Identities Used to Request Over $7 Million in Tax Refunds
A Phenix City, Alabama, resident and former state employee was sentenced to serve more than seven years in prison for her role in a stolen identity tax refund fraud ring, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney George L. Beck Jr. of the Middle District of Alabama.
Tamika Floyd was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge W. Keith Watkins to serve 87 months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $3,092,885 in restitution. Floyd pleaded guilty on Oct. 2, 2014, to one count of conspiracy to file false claims and one count of aggravated identity theft. Floyd’s co-conspirators, including Keisha Lanier, Tracy Mitchell, Latasha Mitchell, Talarious Paige and others, pleaded guilty on April 1 and are scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 7.
According to court documents, between 2006 and 2014, Tamika Floyd worked at two Alabama state agencies located in Opelika, Alabama: the Department of Public Health and the Department of Human Resources. In both positions, she had access to the personal identifying information of individuals. Beginning in 2012, Floyd was approached by co-conspirator Lanier. As part of the scheme, Floyd stole names and personal information from the state agencies and provided the information to Lanier to be used to file false federal income tax returns. Most of the stolen identifying information consisted of names of teenagers. Lanier then provided the stolen information to co-conspirators Tracy Mitchell, Latasha Mitchell, Paige and others to use to file false tax returns. These co-conspirators filed more than 3,000 fraudulent federal income tax returns claiming more than $7.5 million in tax refunds using the stolen information provided by Floyd.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo and U.S. Attorney Beck Jr. commended special agents of Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case, and Trial Attorneys Michael C. Boteler and Gregory P. Bailey of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd A. Brown of the Middle District of Alabama, who are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.