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Justice News

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

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Baton Rouge Woman Sentenced To Over Five Years In Prison For Filing False Tax Returns With Stolen Identities

BATON ROUGE, LA –United States Attorney Walt Green announced that yesterday, U.S. District Judge Shelly D. Dick sentenced MONA R. HILL, age 32, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to 65 months imprisonment for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. HILL was also sentenced to serve three years of supervised release following her release from imprisonment and ordered to pay the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) $491,268 in restitution.

During her guilty plea hearing last year, HILL admitted that she schemed to defraud the IRS by submitting hundreds of false tax returns in the names of other individuals for the purpose of receiving thousands of dollars in tax refunds. HILL accomplished the scheme by fraudulently obtaining the names and personal identifying information, including social security numbers, of individuals without their knowledge or consent. Using the information, HILL submitted false income tax returns to the IRS electronically via an internet tax program. The applications falsely represented that the individuals had worked for various companies during 2011 and were eligible for income tax refunds. In fact, these individuals had not worked for or earned wages from the companies reflected in the fraudulent tax returns, nor had the victims authorized HILL to submit any such returns on their behalf.

From in or about January 2012 through in or about July 2012, HILL submitted approximately 488 false tax returns, falsely claiming refunds totaling approximately $661,258. As a result of her scheme, HILL actually received nearly $500,000.

United States Attorney Walt Green stated: “This sentence should send a clear message that identity theft will not be tolerated. Our office will continue to aggressively pursue and prosecute those who would steal other individuals’ identities and submit false tax returns in an effort to line their pockets.”

Gabriel L. Grchan, Special Agent-in-Charge of IRS – Criminal Investigation, stated, “We are pleased with the sentence the Court imposed on Mona Hill. Identity theft is a growing problem, and can make honest taxpayers face a more difficult time obtaining their lawful refund. The IRS is vigilant in our investigation of these schemes and will continue to work with the United States Attorney’s Office to combat this type of criminal conduct."

This investigation was conducted by IRS - Criminal Investigations Division. The matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shubhra Shivpuri.

Updated December 15, 2014