Mississippi sheriff’s office employee sentenced for using stolen identities to file fraudulent tax returns
SHREVEPORT, La. – Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced that a Mississippi woman was sentenced Monday to 94 months in prison for being part of a scheme to file fraudulent income tax returns using stolen identities and causing the refunds to be mailed to post office boxes in Louisiana.
Shannon A. Brumfield, 50, of Byram, Miss., was sentenced to more than 7.5 years in prison by U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. on two counts of mail fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. She was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $386,141 restitution. According to the January 11, 2017 guilty plea, Brumfield used her position as a lieutenant at Hinds County Detention Center to access the Hinds County Jail Management System and steal names and Social Security numbers of inmates and other individuals. Brumfield and other members of the conspiracy not named in the indictment used the stolen identities to file fictitious IRS tax returns from May 2011 until December 2012. Based on the fraudulent returns, the IRS issued tax refunds and mailed them to U.S. Post Office boxes in Tallulah, La.
“Ms. Brumfield shamelessly abused her position as a law enforcement officer by stealing the identities of individuals listed in a sheriff’s office computer system,” Van Hook stated. “Despite her vow to serve and protect, she used her position to line her own pockets. The 94-month sentence imposed and the recovery of the ill-gotten gains should send a strong message that this sort of crime does not pay.”
“This sentencing is a stern reminder that participation in refund fraud schemes does not pay and those who do so will be held accountable,” Special Agent in Charge of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Jerome R. McDuffie stated. “Ms. Brumfield participated in a scheme in which stolen identities were used to file over 300 false tax returns. Refunds totaling over $1 million were requested by the scheme participants for personal gain. Identity theft is an ongoing problem and IRS-CI will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute those engaged in these illegal activities. Our agency will continue to work with the United States Attorney’s Office and other federal agencies to aggressively protect innocent taxpayers and preserve the integrity of our tax system. ”
The IRS – Criminal Investigation Division conducted the investigation. Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Cytheria D. Jernigan prosecuted the case.