Riverview Woman Sentenced To 7 Years In Federal Prison For Stolen Identity Refund Fraud
Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore yesterday sentenced Ashley C. Guy (30) to 7 years in federal prison for committing wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. The court also entered a money judgment against Guy in the amount of $309,895, the proceeds of the wire fraud and identity theft scheme. Guy pleaded guilty to the offenses on January 27, 2014.
According to court documents, Ashley C. Guy, a/k/a “Ashley C. Gay,” devised and participated in a scheme to defraud the United States out of tax refunds by using stolen identities to electronically file false federal income tax returns. During the execution of a search warrant at Guy’s residence, federal agents uncovered lists containing more than 200 names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers, as well as at least 15 prepaid debit cards in the names of others. The search also revealed documents containing information on the filing of false tax returns, $1,500 in U.S. currency in a small safe located in the living room, and $642 in U.S. currency seized from a purse in Guy’s master bedroom. In addition, agents found a trash can on the back porch of the residence that had been used for burning documents related to the fraud. From the trash can, agents were able to recover a list of personal identifying information that had not been completely burned.
Between January 2012 and April 2013, approximately 100 false federal income tax returns were filed from Guy’s house, claiming $560,713 in tax refunds. Another 112 false returns, claiming $801,011 in refunds, were filed from different locations, but were linked to Guy based upon the stolen identities and prepaid debit cards found in her house. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was able to stop many of these fraudulent refund claims. Out of the total 212 returns claiming roughly $1,361,724 in refunds, the IRS was ultimately defrauded into paying $309,895.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Tampa Police Department, with assistance from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew J. Mueller and Trial Attorney Jason H. Poole of the Department of Justice, Tax Division.