Lake Placid, Florida Man Sentenced for Participating in Business Email Compromise Scheme Spanning Four States
Montgomery, Alabama- A Jacksonville, Florida resident was sentenced today to 42 months in prison for her role in a stolen identity refund fraud scheme, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Clark Morris for the Middle District of Alabama, and Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
According to documents and information provided to the court, from approximately February 2014 through February 2015, in Duval County, Florida and Pike County, Alabama, Comone Denise Ross, 58, and others obtained stolen IDs, including the personal identifying information of prisoners. They used the information to file over 100 tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seeking approximately $411,914 in fraudulent refunds. One co-conspirator, Devon Tucker, previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 32 months in prison for selling Ross identification information relating to inmates at the Troy, Alabama City Jail.
In addition to the term of prison imposed, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ordered Ross to serve three years of supervised release and to pay $285,412 in restitution to the IRS. Ross pleaded guilty in April 2017 to conspiring to defraud the government and aggravated identity theft.
Acting U.S. Attorney Morris and Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg commended special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Gregory P. Bailey and Michael P. Hatzimichalis of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan S. Ross of the Middle District of Alabama, who prosecuted this case.
Additional information about the Tax Division’s enforcement efforts can be found on the division’s website.