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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Law Enforcement Officer And Three Others Sentenced To Prison For Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Scheme

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich today sentenced Corey A. Coley, Sr. to seven years and three months in federal prison for conspiracy, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.  Coley was a Probation Officer for the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.  As part of his sentence, the court also entered a money judgment in the amount of $671,022.99, the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct. Coley pleaded guilty on January 15, 2014.

Coley’s co-conspirators, Albert E. Moore, Jr., Tigi Moore, and Mattie Philon previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced for their roles in this case.  Albert Moore, Jr. was sentenced to 6 years and 3 months’ imprisonment. Tigi Moore, who worked as a data integrity specialist at Tampa General Hospital, was sentenced to 4 years in federal prison.  Philon was sentenced to 2 years’ imprisonment for her part in the scheme.

According to court documents, the co-conspirators engaged in a scheme to defraud the government by submitting fraudulent tax returns and then using the resulting tax refunds for their own benefit and the benefit of others.  Coley obtained identities used in the scheme from the information in the records of his former employer, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.  Tigi Moore also obtained identities used in the scheme from the information in the records of her former employer, Tampa General Hospital.  In total, the conspirators received $671,022.99 of fraudulently obtained tax refunds and filed fraudulent returns requesting more than $1.8 million of tax refunds.

"Mr. Coley misused his position as a Juvenile Probation Officer to steal identities of people.  These stolen identities were then used to file false tax returns in their names.  Coley's brazen abuse of trust is reprehensible and inexcusable," said James D. Robnett, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation.  "Coley's sentence today to 87 months in federal prison holds Mr. Coley accountable for his criminal actions.  Individuals such as Albert Moore, Tigi Moore and Mattie Philon who commit identity theft and refund fraud of this magnitude deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.  IRS-Criminal Investigation and its partners in the Tampa Bay Alliance, will continue to investigate those individuals is perpetrate this criminal conduct."

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. It was being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sara C. Sweeney.

Updated January 26, 2015