Justice News

Department of Justice
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Monday, January 29, 2018

Tennessee Woman Sentenced to Six Years in Prison for Stolen ID Refund Fraud

An Antioch, Tennessee, woman was sentenced to six years in prison for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Donald Q. Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee. 


Monique Ellis was convicted following a jury trial in October 2017 of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. According to documents filed with the court and evidence presented at trial, in January and February 2012, Monique Ellis used stolen IDs, including those of prisoners held by the Alabama Department of Corrections, to file tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seeking fraudulent refunds.  Ellis directed the fraudulently obtained refunds to bank accounts that she controlled, causing a tax loss of $700,933.20.


In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Court Judge Gershwin A. Drain ordered Ellis to serve three years of supervised release.  Restitution will be determined at a later date.


Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Cochran thanked special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Henry Leventis and Trial Attorney Lauren Castaldi of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.


Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.

Press Release Number: 
Updated January 29, 2018