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Justice News

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

Friday, January 24, 2014

Two Sentenced For Stolen Identity Refund Fraud


Jackson, Miss – Erica Porter and Obadiah Herring, both of Jackson, were sentenced on January 23, 2014 by U.S. District Judge Dan Jordan in connection with a tax refund identity theft conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis and Gabriel Grchan, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenus Service Criminal Investigation.

Erica Porter was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison for conspiracy to defraud the United States, and 24 months for aggravated ID theft, for a total of 34 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $49,127 and forfeit a total of $49,127.

Obadiah Herring was sentenced to 18 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to defraud the United States. He was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $49,127, and forfeit a total of $49,127.

“Identity theft is a serious crime which exploits some of the most vulnerable members of our community. When combined with tax refund fraud, it threatens the financial security of our citizens,” said Gregory Davis, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi. “This office will continue to work with the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Secret Service, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service to prosecute those who cause harm to the U.S. taxpayers and those persons whose identities are is stolen.”

“As we approach tax filing season, those who might consider preparing false tax returns using stolen identities should be aware of the extremely negative consequences as evidenced today,” said Gabriel L. Grchan, Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Field Office. “Today’s sentencing of Erica Porter and Obadiah Herring again emphasizes that IRS-CI, and our law enforcement partners, will continue to aggressively pursue and hold identity thieves accountable for their attempts to defraud America’s tax system."

Stolen identity refund fraud occurs when a person, without permission, uses a legitimate
taxpayer’s identity to fraudulently file a tax return and claim a refund. This tax fraud tops the
Internal Revenue Service’s list Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2013.*

If you believe that you or someone you know may have had a tax return filed under your
name as the result of identity theft, please visit, call 1-800-829-1040 or visit your
local IRS office for further information.

This case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Secret Service and
prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Gilbert.


If you believe you have been a victim of fraud from a person or an organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of storm victims, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at:

(866) 720-5721

You can also fax information to:

(225) 334-4707

or e-mail it to:

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Updated September 7, 2017