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Press Release

Marion Illinois Woman Sentenced To Prison For Participating In Conspiracy To Defraud The Internal Revenue Service

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Illinois

Tajuana L. Sullivan, 27, of Marion, Illinois, was sentenced to a total of thirty-eight months in prison for her role in a conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service by submitting numerous false federal tax returns. Her sentence included a two year prison sentence for aggravated identity theft for using a stolen identity of another in submitting a fraudulent tax return, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Sullivan was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $98,091.53 as a condition of three years supervised release following her prison sentence.

Facts which led to the case showed that on February 19, 2013, deputies with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Sullivan. Approximately 53 debit cards and a notebook with names and identifying information were found in Sullivan’s possession.

This information was turned over to the IRS Scheme Development Center (SDC), which utilizes databases to research possible tax refund fraud schemes. The SDC linked tax returns based on the notebook containing identifying information found in Sullivan’s vehicle, internet protocol (IP) addresses, employers, occupations, and electronic filing identification numbers (EFIN), which revealed a tax refund scheme, some of which involved stolen identities. The data provided by the SDC consisted of 2011 and 2012 tax returns, which were filed during the years 2012 and 2013, respectively. This tax refund scheme consisted of approximately 86 federal income tax returns, which claimed approximately $283,700 in fraudulent tax refunds.

The successful prosecution is the result of an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service/Criminal Investigations, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Secret Service, and the Shelby County Sheriff's Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Norman R. Smith.

Updated March 26, 2015