Woman Pleads Guilty to Tax Refund Fraud Using Stolen Identities
Jackson, Miss. – Marietta Harris pled guilty yesterday before U.S. District Court Judge Henry T. Wingate to conspiring to defraud the United States, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Michael Williams and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge Ted R. Magee.
According to information revealed at her plea hearing, from January 2009 to June 2013, Harris and her co-defendants defrauded the government by using names, social security numbers and other personal identifying information which had been stolen from the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Rankin County, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and other locations, to file false tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service and collect tax refunds. These fraudulent tax refunds were electronically deposited into various bank accounts in Mississippi belonging to Harris and her co-conspirators.
Harris will be sentenced by Judge Wingate on May 29, 2018, and faces a total maximum penalty of ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. According to the indictment, Harris and her seven co-conspirators were charged with conspiracy to defraud the government. According to the court’s public electronic record, all seven co-conspirators have been sentenced to terms of imprisonment as follows: Nikki Thomas – 105 months; S’ade Tyler – 54 months; Tony Jones – 105 months; Ladonna Cooper – 20 months; Shekeila Jones – 15 months; Pamlia Johnson – 14 months; and Diandra Thomas – 5 months.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation with assistance from the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, the Mississippi Department of Corrections and the Mississippi Department of Revenue. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Lemon.