Montgomery, Alabama, Woman Indicted for Using Stolen Identities and Debit Cards to Obtain Tax Refunds
A federal grand jury in Montgomery returned an indictment on March 28, 2012, charging Antoinette Djonret for using stolen identities to file false tax returns, the Justice Department, U.S. Attorney George L. Beck Jr. and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. The 19-count indictment, which was unsealed today following her arrest, charges Djonret with filing false claims, theft of government funds, access device fraud, aggravated identity theft and possession of unauthorized access devices.
Djonret had earlier been charged with making false claims in a criminal complaint that was filed on February 22, 2012. According to the indictment and other court documents, Djonret used stolen identities to file false tax returns which fraudulently claimed refunds. Djonret had some of the refunds deposited onto a prepaid debit card in her name. Court documents state that nearly 650 tax returns were electronically filed from an IP address assigned to her residence. According to the criminal complaint, on May 22, 2010, Djonret was arrested during a traffic stop and police officers seized from her car several prepaid debit cards in the names of other individuals. The cards were linked to bank accounts that had received federal income tax refunds.
If convicted, she faces a maximum potential sentence of five years in prison for each false claims count and each theft of government funds count, 15 years in prison for the access device fraud count, 10 years in prison for the possession of unauthorized access devices count, and a mandatory two-year sentence for the aggravated identity theft counts. She is also subject to fines and mandatory restitution if convicted.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by Special Agents of the IRS - Criminal Investigation. Trial attorneys Jason H. Poole and Michael Boteler of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Morris are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found at www.justice.gov/tax .