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Press Release

Riverview Woman Sentenced To Three Years For Stolen Identity Refund Fraud And Making False Statements To HUD

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

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Charlene Honeywell has sentenced Ronika Paris to three years in federal prison for wire fraud, aggravated identity fraud, and making false and fraudulent statements to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Court also entered a money judgment against her in the amount of $17,979, the proceeds of the fraudulent tax refunds, and ordered her to pay $70,873 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

Paris pleaded guilty on April 14, 2015.

According to court documents, Paris obtained and used the stolen personal identifying information of more than 60 individuals to file false tax returns and open pre-paid debit cards. From May 2013 through September 2013, Paris filed false tax returns claiming approximately $446,554 in refunds. Many of the victims were elderly and lived out of state. In February 2013, Paris made false and fraudulent statements to HUD and the Tampa Housing Authority on her subsidized housing disclosure forms.

This case was investigated by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Tampa Housing Authority. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Megan Kistler and former Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Mueller.

Updated July 17, 2015

Identity Theft