Louisiana Tax Return Preparer Sentenced to Jail for Stolen Identity Tax Refund Fraud
WASHINGTON – A resident of Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, was sentenced today to 42 months in prison for her involvement in stolen identity tax fraud, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Alicia Washington, also known as Alicia Keith, pleaded guilty on Feb. 21, 2017, to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to commit theft of public money, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft and one count of aggravated identity theft.
According to court documents, Washington operated as a tax return preparer using several different business names. From 2008 to 2016, Washington conspired with others to prepare false tax returns using stolen identities. Members of the conspiracy stole the names and Social Security numbers of individuals who had been arrested or imprisoned, and then used that information to file fraudulent tax returns. Washington electronically filed the bogus returns seeking refunds. The IRS provided the fraudulent refunds in the form of checks or prepaid debit cards, which members of the conspiracy converted to cash.
In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Court Judge Susie Morgan ordered Washington to serve two years of supervised release and to pay restitution in the amount of $809,605.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Evans commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Hayden Brockett and Tax Division Trial Attorney Lauren Castaldi, who are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.
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