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Justice News

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

Friday, October 7, 2016

Two Sentenced for Stealing Identities to Obtain Fraudulent Student Loans

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Ernest Xavier Taylor, Jr., 31, and Tracie Laverne Mixon, 34, both of Hammond, Louisiana, were sentenced today to 51 and 45 months in prison, respectively, for charges relating to stealing the identities of four people to fraudulently obtain federal student loans from Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) and other schools.

Taylor Jr. and Mixon pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail, wire, and financial aid fraud in addition to aggravated identity theft. According to court documents, Taylor Jr. and Mixon engaged in a conspiracy to use the identity of four different people to fraudulently obtain federal student aid from NVCC and other schools. The four different people included three who were in prison at the time their identities were used, and the fourth person was recovering in a military hospital after suffering injuries while deployed as a member of the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.

Taylor Jr. and Mixon would use the names, dates of birth, and social security numbers of these four different people on various submissions, but Taylor Jr. and Mixon would supply their own addresses, emails, and telephone numbers to ensure that communications from the Department of Education, NVCC, and the other schools would be directed to Taylor Jr. and Mixon. The indictment also alleges that recorded telephone calls captured Taylor Jr. pretending to be the four different identities when calling to check on the status of financial aid from NVCC. Taylor Jr. and Mixon’s fraudulent actions allegedly caused NVCC and other schools to offer approximately $67,000 in federal student aid to the various identities used by Taylor Jr. and Mixon.

In addition to NVCC, the other schools targeted by Taylor Jr. and Mixon are: Front Range Community College; Community College of Denver; Portland Community College; and Black Hills State University.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian D. Harrison and Edward P. Sullivan prosecuted the case.  The case was investigated by the Department of Education, Office of Inspector General and the FBI’s Washington Field Office.  The investigation received assistance from the Northern Virginia Community College Police Department.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:16-CR-118.

Updated October 7, 2016