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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tampa Man Sentenced to More Than Three Years for Stolen Identity Refund Fraud

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven today sentenced Gerrell Houston to 38 months in federal prison for theft of government property and aggravated identity theft. Houston pleaded guilty in September 2014.

According to court documents and information presented at sentencing, Houston conspired with others to defraud the Internal Revenue Service by filing false and fraudulent income tax returns using the names and Social Security numbers of unwitting individuals. The conspirators filed 50 fraudulent tax returns, claiming $331,849 in refunds, and succeeded in obtaining more than $108,000 from the U.S. government.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sara C. Sweeney.

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Updated February 5, 2015