Nashville Woman Sentenced for Aggravated Identity Theft and Former Metro Nashville Police Officer Sentenced for Unauthorized Use of Police Computer
Lakenya Anderson, 37 of Nashville, Tennessee, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Kevin H. Sharpe, to serve 12 months and one day in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release, announced David Rivera, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. Anderson was also ordered to pay restitution of $4,000.00 to the IRS.
On July 1, 2016, Anderson pleaded guilty to one count of a 16-count indictment filed on December 9, 2015, charging her and co-defendant, Mackovis Peebles, Jr., with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, filing false claims and aggravated identity theft. As part of the plea agreement, Anderson admitted that on March 7, 2012, she asked Mackovis Peebles, an officer with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD), to obtain the social security numbers of her mother and her father so that she could file income tax returns in their names. On or about March 7, 2012, Peebles used a MNPD issued computer to search for information on Anderson's mother and father. After the search, he provided the social security numbers for both individuals to Anderson without any legitimate law enforcement purpose.
On March 8, 2012, Anderson used the social security numbers and birth dates of her parents that were provided to her by Peebles to file tax returns with the IRS for the tax year 2011, in the names of Anderson's parents, falsely claiming a refund was due to each of them in the amount of $1,000. Anderson received the refund from the IRS claimed for her mother in the form of a bank card. The refund claimed for her father was eventually received in the form of a check which Anderson cashed, keeping part of the money for herself.
Anderson also filed tax returns for the tax year 2011 in the names of two other individuals, that she knew, one of whom was living and one who she knew was deceased in 2010, falsely claiming a refund was due to each of them in the amount of $1,000. Anderson received one refund in the form of a check that was cashed for her by Peebles and one in the form of a bank card. Anderson received at least $1,000 in IRS tax refunds to which she was not entitled.
None of the four individuals whose names Anderson used to file the tax returns above gave her permission to file the returns, and none was entitled to the refund claimed on the returns she filed. When Anderson was confronted by law enforcement officers, she admitted that she asked Peebles to run her parents' names in his police computer to get information she could use to file the tax returns.
On May 17, 2016, Peebles pleaded guilty to one count of a Superseding Information charging him with computer fraud, specifically exceeding authorized access. Peebles admitted that, as a Metro Nashville Police officer, he was trained, tested and certified in the use of the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system which is a data base that includes a wide range of personal information about individuals. Based on this training and certification, Peebles was allowed to access the NCIC system for legitimate law enforcement purposes.
Peebles admitted that he accessed personal information of Anderson’s parents and provided their social security numbers to Anderson without any legitimate law enforcement purpose in order to maintain his personal relationship with Anderson. On August 22, 2016, Peebles was sentenced to 2 years of probation and ordered to pay a fine of $2,000.00.
This investigation was conducted by IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jimmie Lynn Ramsaur represented the government.