Tax Preparer Sentenced To Over Six Years In Prison For Filing Hundreds Of False Tax Returns
BATON ROUGE, LA –United States Attorney Walt Green announced that today, U.S. District Judge Shelly D. Dick sentenced ASHLEY D. RICKS-STAMPLEY, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to 81 months imprisonment for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. RICKS-STAMPLEY was also sentenced to serve three years of supervised release following her release from imprisonment and ordered to pay restitution in the amounts of $699,734.89 to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and $11,138 to the Louisiana Department of Revenue.
During her guilty plea hearing last year, RICKS-STAMPLEY 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. RICKS-STAMPLEY 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, RICKS-STAMPLEY submitted false income tax returns to the IRS and the Louisiana Department of Revenue electronically via an internet tax program. The applications falsely represented that the individuals had worked for various companies during 2010 and 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 RICKS-STAMPLEY to submit any such returns on their behalf.
From in or about September 2011 through in or about July 2012, RICKS-STAMPLEY filed approximately 563 false federal returns claiming refunds totaling approximately $733,685. Additionally, RICKS-STAMPLEY filed over 56 false Louisiana State tax returns claiming refunds totaling approximately $14,625. In total, RICKS-STAMPLEY filed over 600 false federal and state tax returns falsely claiming refunds totaling approximately $748,310. As a result of her scheme, RICKS-STAMPLEY actually received more than $700,000.
United States Attorney Walt Green stated: “This sentence should send a clear message that the Louisiana Department of Revenue, IRS Criminal Investigation, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office will investigate and prosecute tax fraud and identity theft to the fullest extent of the law. During our annual tax filing season, this sentence should serve as a deterrent to others contemplating such criminal acts.”
“IRS Criminal Investigation has made investigating refund fraud and identity theft a top priority,” stated Gabriel L. Grchan, Special Agent-in-Charge of IRS – Criminal Investigation, New Orleans Field Office. “We are pleased with today’s sentencing of Ashley Ricks-Stampley, and thank the United States Attorney’s Office for their partnership in our continued efforts to put an end to identity theft and the victimization of our nation’s taxpayers.”
“Tax fraud is a nationwide problem that requires solutions at the federal, state, and local levels,” said Louisiana Secretary of Revenue Tim Barfield. “We appreciate the opportunity to work with the IRS and the Justice Department to identify, investigate, and prosecute the perpetrators of fraud.”
This investigation was conducted by IRS - Criminal Investigations Division and Louisiana Department of Revenue - Criminal Investigations Division. The matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Reginald E. Jones.