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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 13, 2013

Liverpool Woman Pleads To 11 Counts Of Fraud And Identity Theft

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK - United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian announced today that Patricia Harrington, 50, of Liverpool, New York, entered guilty pleas in U.S. District Court, in Syracuse, to multiple counts of filing false federal tax returns, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Harrington faces a maximum sentence of 20 years and a fine of $250,000. Sentencing has been scheduled for January 29, 2014 in U.S. District Court. She has been ordered detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshal pending sentencing.

In entering her guilty pleas before the Hon. Glenn T. Suddaby, Harrington admitted that she filed six false federal tax returns under her own name and names of relatives, without their knowledge, for tax years 2010 and 2011. She wrongfully received almost $24,000 in tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service over a two year period.

She also pled guilty to four counts of federal wire fraud in connection with another scheme she devised to obtain Unemployment Insurance benefits from the New York State Department of Labor. In implementing this scheme, she opened four separate accounts at various local banks, via the internet, using personal identification information taken from other individuals without their knowledge. She thereafter filed false unemployment benefits claims, via the internet, causing unemployment benefits to be deposited into the fraudulent bank accounts. Under this scheme, she netted almost $15,000 in New York State unemployment benefits.

Harrington also pled guilty to a single count of Aggravated Identity Theft admitting that she knowingly and wrongfully used the personal identification information of another person to carry out her wire fraud scheme. The aggravated identity theft conviction carries a mandatory sentence of two years incarceration consecutive to any other sentences imposed in the case.

At the time the current offenses were committed, Harrington was on federal supervised release following her 2008 conviction in Pennsylvania for Identity Theft that resulted from a scheme where she wrongfully obtained more than $100,000 in student loans from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Program.

This prosecution resulted from an investigation conducted by the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department, the New York State Department of Labor, the Syracuse U.S. Probation Office, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations, Syracuse Office, and the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney John G. Duncan. For further information contact Mr. Duncan at 315-448-0672.

Updated January 29, 2015