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Justice News

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

Thursday, September 19, 2013

11 Defendants Charged With Federal Crimes Related To Stolen Identity Tax Fraud Scheme

STATESBORO, GA - Two federal indictments, unsealed today in federal court, have charged 11 defendants with conspiracy to commit theft of public money and access device fraud in connection with fraudulent tax returns.  Both of these indictments allege that the defendants illicitly obtained and possessed debit cards and tax refund checks stemming from the preparation and submission of fraudulent tax returns.  The initial court appearances were held today at 10:00 a.m. in the Federal Courthouse in Statesboro, Georgia.

United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver said, “These indictments demonstrate the continued commitment of the United States Attorney’s Office to protecting the hard-earned money of honest taxpayers.  Our law enforcement partners will continue to investigate and prosecute those who seek to profit from the preparation and filing of fraudulent tax returns.”

IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Veronica Hyman-Pillot said, "Today's announcement exemplifies the intense focus on the rigorous pursuit of identity theft by IRS and our law enforcement partners.  IRS Criminal Investigation has made investigating refund fraud and identity theft a top priority and we will continue to vigorously pursue those who undermine the integrity of the U.S. tax system."

Mark F. Giuliano, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated, "The FBI will continue to work with our local, state, and other federal law enforcement partners to aggressively pursue criminals who defraud the U.S. government by stealing the identities of unwitting and innocent victims.”

Joshua Waites, Chief, Office of Special Investigations, Georgia Department of Revenue, stated, “Today’s arrests show how serious the State of Georgia is at finding and arresting individuals committing identity theft fraud.  The Georgia Department of Revenue will continue to work with our federal and local law enforcement officials to combat this growing trend.”

Statesboro Director of Public Safety Wendell Turner said, “The Statesboro Police Department has been working with our local and federal counterparts to apprehend the persons responsible for defrauding the government and individuals through a variety of criminal schemes.  We are very proud of these partnerships and the results they yield for our citizens.  This investigation is just another example of everyone working together, sharing resources, information and expertise for the common good of our community.”

Mr. Tarver emphasized that an indictment is only an accusation and is not evidence of guilt.  The defendants are entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. 

FBI Special Agent Marcus Kirkland, IRS Special Agent Gwen Weston and SPD Sgt. James Winskey, assisted by their agencies’ colleagues, conducted the investigation which led to the indictments.  The United States Marshals Service, Georgia State Patrol, Georgia State Probation Office, Sylvania Police Department and the sheriff’s offices for Bulloch and Screven counties assisted in the arrests of numerous defendants.

Assistant United States Attorneys David Stewart and Lamont A. Belk are prosecuting the cases on behalf of the United States.  For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.

List of 11 Federal Defendants

RICHARD PARKER, 60, of Sylvania, Georgia

EULA MAE RODRIGUEZ, 47, of Sylvania, Georgia

TACARRO MORGAN, 25, of Sylvania, Georgia

SIRBRINA BANGS, 26, of Statesboro, Georgia

DEQUILLIA HILL, 43, of Sylvania, Georgia

KANDICE WHITE, 25, of Sylvania, Georgia

ALECEIA LOVETT, 29, of Statesboro, Georgia

CIERRA JOHNSON, 22, of Statesboro, Georgia

DANIELLE CLARK, 26, of Statesboro, Georgia

DEVANG SHAH, 32, of Sylvania, Georgia

TAMEIKA CLARK, 24, of Statesboro, Georgia

Updated April 13, 2015