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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Former National Fast Food Restaurant Chain Employee And Co-Defendant Plead Guilty In Identity Theft Tax Fraud Scheme

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and Steve Steinberg, Chief, Aventura Police Department, announce that Tekia Jones, 37, of Hallandale, and Ivory Covington, 29, of Miami, each pled guilty to one count of access device fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(3), and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A(a)(1). Sentencing is scheduled for June 24, 2014 before U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas.

According to court documents, Jones was an employee of a national fast food restaurant chain and had access to employees’ names, social security numbers and dates of birth, but did not have permission to possess the employees’ information outside of her employment. On March 10, 2013, during an inventory search of a car driven by Covington, but shared and controlled by Covington and Jones, 118 names, social security numbers and dates of birth were found that belonged to former and current employees of this national fast food restaurant chain, along with two GreenDot Visa prepaid debit cards.

The defendants face a maximum sentence of ten years in prison for the access device fraud charge, and a mandatory term of two years in prison, consecutive to any other term in prison, for the aggravated identity theft charge.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI and the Aventura Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gera R. Peoples.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Updated March 12, 2015