Former Public Health Care Employee Convicted Of Selling More Than 400 Social Security Numbers Used In Fraudulent Tax Refund Scheme
BATON ROUGE, LA –United States Attorney Walt Green announced that TA’SHA THOMAS, age 26, of Donaldsonville, Louisiana, pled guilty before Senior U.S. District Judge James J. Brady to access device fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(2), and aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A.
During the guilty plea hearing, THOMAS admitted to gaining access to personal identifying information of individuals in the COMPASS database through her work at the Ascension Parish Health Unit. She also admitted to taking the personal identifying information and selling it to Mona Hill, who in turn used the information to file fraudulent federal tax returns, ultimately receiving more than $400,000 based on such returns. As THOMAS admitted, between January and August of 2012, she sold more than 400 access devices to Mona Hill. In exchange, THOMAS was paid between $8,000 and $9,000. Mona Hill has been separately prosecuted and convicted by this office. Hill was sentenced to serve sixty-five months in federal prison and pay $491,268.18 in restitution to the IRS.
U.S. Attorney Green stated: “My office will continue to aggressively pursue criminals who commit identity theft and use those stolen identities to defraud the United States and line their own pockets. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners at IRS-CI and other agencies in the fight against such conduct.”
“We are pleased with the conviction of Ms. Thomas. The IRS will aggressively pursue individuals who are involved in stolen identity refund fraud,” said Jerome R. McDuffie, Special Agent-in-Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. “This case should serve as a strong warning to those who are considering similar conduct. Law enforcement will relentlessly pursue those who steal the identities of unsuspecting individuals.”
This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division. This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jessica M.P. Thornhill.