Two Solano County Women Charged with Fraud Conspiracy, Filing Fraudulent Income Tax Returns, and Aggravated Identity Theft
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a six-count indictment on May 19, 2016, against Pamela Dawn Pierson, 50, of Vallejo, and Michelle Louise Travis, 50, of Suisun City. The indictment, which was unsealed today, charges both Pierson and Travis with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States government, filing false claims against the United States government, and aggravated identity theft, Acting United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, Pierson and Travis used identity theft victims’ personal identifying information to file fraudulent tax returns in order to obtain income tax refunds to which they were not entitled.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Fairfield Police Department, with assistance from the University of California – San Francisco Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Brian A. Fogerty is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Pierson and Travis face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison for the conspiracy to commit wire fraud charge, a maximum of 10 years in prison for conspiracy to defraud the United States government, a maximum of five years in prison for the false claims charges, and a mandatory term of two years in prison for the aggravated identity theft charges. Each of the charges carries a maximum fine of $250,000. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.