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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 12, 2016

St. Paul Woman Pleads Guilty to Using Stolen Identities to File Fraudulent Income Tax Returns

Yarbrough attempted to steal more than $500,000 in fraudulent tax refunds

United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger today announced the guilty plea of EBONY SHANTE YARBROUGH, 28, to aggravated identity theft. YARBROUGH pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Patrick J. Schiltz in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minn.

“Today's plea by Ebony Yarbrough to an aggravated identity theft charge exemplifies IRS Special Agents' intense focus on the rigorous pursuit of identity theft and refund fraud," said Shea Jones, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation St. Paul Field Office. IRS Criminal Investigation remains committed to the pursuit of identity theft crimes and, together with our partners at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, we will hold those who engage in similar conduct accountable.”

According to the defendant’s guilty plea, between 2013 and 2015, YARBROUGH convinced friends and family members to allow her to file their state and federal income tax returns by claiming she knew how to prepare the returns and would charge less than a tax preparation service.

According to her guilty plea, YARBROUGH prepared taxpayers’ returns by claiming false Schedule C income characterized as “hair stylist,” “cleaner” or “exotic dancer.” Additionally, YARBROUGH included dependents on taxpayers’ returns by using stolen personal identifying information belonging to minors, enabling them to qualify for other tax credits. YARBROUGH’S scheme accounted for more than $500,000 in false state and federal claims.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS. The Minnesota Department of Revenue assisted in the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly A. Svendsen is prosecuting the case.

 

Defendant Information:                                                                                                                            

EBONY SHANTE YARBROUGH, 28

St. Paul, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Aggravated Identity Theft, 1 count

 

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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600

Component(s): 
Updated August 12, 2016