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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Former National Fast Food Restaurant Chain Employee And Co-Defendant Sentenced For 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, were sentenced before U.S. District Court Judge William P. Dimitrouleas for their roles in an identity theft tax fraud scheme. Jones was sentenced to 42 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Covington was sentenced to 36 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.

Each defendant previously 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).

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 with the names of two former national fast food restaurant employees whose PII were found in the car.

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