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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pittsburg Resident Charged In Tax Fraud Scheme

San Francisco – Ebony Standifer, was charged with conspiracy to file false claims, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Acting Special Agent in Charge Thomas McMahon.

According to the indictment, between May 2010 and February 2012, Standifer and others conspired to defraud the IRS by obtaining false and fraudulent refunds. As part of the scheme, Standifer procured the names and Social Security numbers of others and used that information to file false federal income tax returns. The returns falsely claimed that the people listed on the returns earned wages in amounts specified on fictitious Forms W-2 that were filed with the tax returns. The fraudulent refunds were transmitted into bank accounts or onto debit cards. In some instances, Standifer agreed to pay co-conspirators who supplied the identities used in the scheme.

Standifer, of Pittsburg, was arrested this morning and made her initial appearance before the Honorable Elizabeth D. Laporte, United States Magistrate Court Judge. Standifer is scheduled to appear before the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, United States District Court Judge, on Nov. 5, 2014.

The maximum statutory penalty for conspiracy to file false claim, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 286, is ten years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The maximum penalty for wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C § 1343, is 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The maximum penalty for aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. § 1028A, is a mandatory consecutive sentence of two years in prison, and a fine of $250,000 plus restitution. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Assistant US Attorney Thomas Newman is prosecuting the case. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the IRS, Criminal Investigation.

Please note that an indictment contains only allegations. As with all defendants, Ebony Standifer must be presumed innocent unless and until she is proven guilty.

(Standifer indictment )



Updated November 18, 2014