FIVE INDICTED FOR IDENTITY THEFT REFUND FRAUD CONSPIRACY
Jackson, Miss - Timothy Benjamin Taylor, 46, of Clinton; Terence Antonio Thompson, 45, of Lithonia, Georgia; Christopher Lashawn Chamberlin, 38, of Bailey; Donald Price, 40, of Jackson; and Tamia Patrice Herndon, 44, of Jackson were indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to submit false claims, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit identity theft for their roles in a scheme to submit fraudulent federal income tax returns to the IRS, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis and Jerome R. McDuffie, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS - Criminal Investigation.
According to the indictment filed on January 7, 2015, the defendants obtained stolen identification information, used that information to fill out federal tax returns, submitted those returns with false wage and deduction information and attempted to receive the refunds generated by those returns.
The defendants have been arraigned by U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda Anderson and the case is set for trial before U.S. District Judge Carlton W. Reeves during the court term beginning on March 2, 2015. If convicted, the defendants each face up to ten years in prison for conspiracy to submit false claims, twenty years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and five years in prison for conspiracy to commit identity theft. Each count of the indictment carries a maximum fine of $250,000.
Jerome R. McDuffie, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS - Criminal Investigation, stated, "Putting an end to tax-fraud-related identity theft is still a major investigative priority for IRS – CI. We want to protect taxpayers from being victimized by these crimes, and are working diligently to let individuals know that IRS-CI is watching and will investigate and seek prosecution in instances where identity theft crimes violate the statutes we protect."
This case was investigated by IRS - Criminal Investigation and will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Gilbert.
The public is reminded that an indictment is a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.