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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 26, 2016

New Orleans Woman Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy, Theft of Federal Funds and Aggravated Identity Theft

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that DOMINIEL TRINETTE JONES, age 26, of New Orleans, pled guilty today to conspiracy to steal federal funds, theft of federal funds, and aggravated identity theft.

According to court documents, in September 2014, JONES conspired with others to unlawfully acquire two United States Treasury checks that did not belong to her. The refund checks were the property of the United States and payable to two actual taxpayers who were owed tax refunds.  JONES also obtained two false Georgia driver’s licenses in the names of the two taxpayers who were payees on the refund checks, for the purpose of opening bank accounts to deposit and steal the Treasury funds.  Using the fake driver’s license bearing the name S.H., JONES opened a bank account at Woodforest National Bank in Covington, in S.H.’s name, but deposited the check later that day at a different branch in Gulfport.  Later that day, JONES traveled to the Woodforest National Bank in New Orleans and withdrew $10,000 from the account bearing the name S.H. using the fake driver’s license. 

Additionally, JONES and a coconspirator opened an account in the names of S.V. and J.V. at Woodforest National Bank located in LaPlace.  JONES and the coconspirator presented fraudulent Georgia driver’s licenses in the names of S.V. and J.V. to open the account. The same day, JONES, and the co-conspirator used the Treasury check, payable to S.V. and J.V., as the initial deposit to open the account at Woodforest National Bank in LaPlace.

Count One, Conspiracy to Steal Federal Funds carries a maximum penalty of five (5) years imprisonment, a fine of not more than $250,000, supervised release of not more than three years, and a special assessment of $100.

Counts Two and Three, Theft of Federal Funds, each carry a maximum penalty of ten (10) years imprisonment, a fine of not more than $250,000, supervised release of not more than three years and a special assessment of $100, per count.

Counts Four and Five each charge JONES with Aggravated Identity Theft. Those counts each carry a two years imprisonment that must run consecutively to the sentence for Counts Two and Three.

U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon set sentencing for September 1, 2016.

Special Agent in Charge of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Jerome R. McDuffie, stated:  “We are pleased with the guilty plea entered today by Ms. Jones.  Our agency will continue to work with the United States Attorney's Office to protect innocent taxpayers and preserve the integrity of our tax system.  Identity theft is an on-going problem and IRS-CI will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute those engaged in these illegal activities.  Participation in refund fraud schemes does not pay and those who do so will be held accountable for their illegal activities.”

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, in investigating this matter.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Sharan E. Lieberman is in charge of the prosecution.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
Updated May 26, 2016