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Press Release

Virginia Woman Sentenced to Prison For Filing False Tax Returns and Using Customer IDs to Make Fraudulent Credit Card Charges

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Failed to Report More than $400,000 in Income

A Haymarket, Virginia woman was sentenced to serve 48 months in prison today for stealing customer IDs and filing a false tax return, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Dana Boente for the Eastern District of Virginia.

According to documents provided to the court, Karen Holtz worked for JMS Ventures Inc. (JMS), which did business as the Kenyan Collection, and imported and distributed handmade Kenyan goods. Holtz was responsible for taking, processing, and fulfilling customer orders, accepting customer payments, including charging customer credit cards, preparing customer invoices, keeping track of JMS’s inventory and maintaining JMS’s books and records. Between 2008 and 2013, Holtz wrote herself unauthorized checks from JMS’s bank account and unlawfully diverted customer payments made using PayPal by transferring the payments directly to her personal bank account. Holtz also used JMS’s customers’ personal identification information to make fraudulent charges to their credit cards. For tax years 2008 through 2013, Holtz filed false individual tax returns on which she failed to report more than $400,000 in income.

In addition to the term of prison imposed, Holtz was ordered to serve one year of supervised release and to pay $529,544.81 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the victims of the fraud and identity theft scheme.

Acting Deputy Assistant General Goldberg and U.S. Attorney Boente thanked special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Secret Service, and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Department, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine L. Wong and Trial Attorney Kimberly G. Ang 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.

Updated June 23, 2017

Press Release Number: 17-697