Alabama Resident Sentenced to Six Months in Prison for Contempt of Court
Montgomery, AL--On Wednesday, October 26, 2016, Elizabeth Ann Grant, 53, of Seale, Alabama was sentenced by Chief United States District Judge W. Keith Watkins to six months in prison for criminal contempt of court.
Previously, on November 15, 2015, Grant pleaded guilty to conspiracy to file fraudulent income tax returns, aggravated identity theft, and embezzling mail. Those guilty pleas followed Grant’s involvement in an identity theft ring operating in and around Phenix City, Alabama. For those offenses, Grant received a sentence of 70 months in prison and was ordered to pay restitution.
In connection with the tax fraud case, a judge ordered that Grant not access her federal retirement savings account until Grant could turn over to the federal government the money in her retirement savings account for the purposes of paying the ordered restitution. Contrary to her agreement and the court’s order, Grant did not turn the money over to the government. Instead, in January of 2016, she took approximately $32,000.00 out of the account and spent the money at various locations, including casinos, restaurants, convenience stores, and grocery stores. This conduct was grounds for the contempt charge.
“The defendant in this case thumbed her nose at the Court’s instructions,” said United States Attorney George L. Beck, Jr. “This case demonstrates that the Court and this office do not take lightly willful disobedience of a court order and will seek to punish such misconduct when it occurs.”
The Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations Division investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan S. Ross and Trial Attorneys Michael C. Boteler, Gregory P. Bailey, and Robert J. Boudreau of the Tax Division prosecuted the case.