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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Delaware

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pennsylvania Woman Sentenced To 42 Months For Role In $1.8 Million Tax Fraud Conspiracy

WILMINGTON, Del. - Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that Stephanie Patterson, age 41, of Royersford, Pennsylvania, was sentenced yesterday by the Honorable Leonard P. Stark, Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, to 42 months imprisonment and full restitution.  Earlier this year, Patterson pled guilty to violations of 18 USC § 286 (False Claims Conspiracy), 18 USC § 1341 (Mail Fraud), and 42 U.S.C. § 408(a)(7)(B) & 18 U.S.C. § 2 (Aiding and Abetting Social Security Fraud) in connection with her use of stolen identities in a tax fraud conspiracy. 

The defendant participated in a tax fraud conspiracy involving the filing of more than 180 false individual federal income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service, using stolen identities.  The returns sought refunds of more than $1.8 million.  The defendant and her co-conspirators received more than $800,000 in refunds to which they were not entitled,on account of the fraudulently filed returns.  Among other things, the scheme jeopardized the Social Security Disability benefits of at least some of the identity theft victims.  The defendant’s role in the conspiracy involved providing names and social security numbers to another co-conspirator, who used the information to file the fraudulent returns.  The defendant also acted as a conduit of information between other members of the scheme.

U.S. Attorney Oberly gave the following comments:  “Individuals who conspire with others to file false claims against the United States Treasury will face significant penalties, as this case demonstrates.  My office is committed to prosecuting these cases, and I will seek incarceration wherever possible and appropriate.”

IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Akeia Conner said, “Individuals who commit refund fraud and identity theft deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. IRS Criminal Investigation, along with our law enforcement partners and the United States Attorney's Office, remain vigilant in identifying, investigating and prosecuting those individuals who seek to willfully defraud the United States Treasury and blatantly disregard the victims of their schemes.”

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lauren Paxton.

Updated July 14, 2015