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Press Release

Largo Woman Sentenced To 4 Years In Prison For Tax And Student Loan Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Virginia Covington today sentenced Katherine Rumph-Smith (44, Largo) to four years in federal prison for defrauding student financial aid and filing false claims with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The Court also ordered Rumph-Smith to make restitution to the IRS, in the amount of $110,971, and to the Federal Stafford Loan Program, in the amount of $22,350.

Rumph-Smith pleaded guilty on October 10, 2013.

According to court documents, Rumph-Smith had previously procured several student loans with outstanding balances, then had the balances discharged due to a disability. In order to obtain further student loans, she submitted physician forms, with the physician’s signature forged by her, saying that her condition had improved, and agreeing to repay her prior loan balances. Rumph-Smith then applied for additional student loans to attend Walden University, which she did not attend, and obtained over $27,000 in loans, from which a total of $22,350 was disbursed to her.

In connection with the IRS, Rumph-Smith created four fictitious Florida corporations and then filed corporate tax returns claiming over $500,000 in refundable tax credits on behalf of the corporations. Also, she opened bank accounts in the names of the corporations, where refunds from the fraudulent corporate tax returns were directly deposited. She used these funds for personal expenses and admitted that these corporations were created solely for the purpose of filing false corporate tax returns and were not operational in any manner whatsoever. 

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Department of Education – Office of Inspector General. It was being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kelley C. Howard-Allen and Sara Sweeney.

Updated January 26, 2015