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Press Release

Harrisburg Woman Charged With Conspiracy

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

To Submit False Claims To The IRS

     The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Stephanie A. Metz, age 25, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was charged Tuesday with conspiracy to submit 33 fraudulent income tax returns to the IRS requesting $242,095 in fraudulent tax refunds for the years 2010 and 2011.

     According to U.S. Attorney Peter J. Smith, Metz provided a co-conspirator with addresses where the fraudulent income tax refund checks could be delivered by mail and was paid a fee for each refund check she delivered to her co-conspirator.  For the tax years 2010 and 2011, Metz provided addresses for 33 fraudulent income tax returns requesting $242,095 in fraudulent tax refunds.  The IRS paid out $57,216 to the co-conspirator before the scheme was detected in early 2012.

     The investigation is part of a project known as Operation Mass Mail involving the filing of hundreds of thousands of false returns using stolen identity information of residents of Puerto Rico.  The investigation was conducted by the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS and is assigned to Senior Litigation Counsel Bruce Brandler.

     Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

     A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

     In this case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is 10 years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

Updated April 17, 2015