Morgan City woman sentenced for scheme with Patterson man to commit tax fraud
ALEXANDRIA, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a Morgan City woman was sentenced Monday to 25 months in prison for her role in a scheme to use stolen identities to file false tax returns and pocket refunds.
Laphrida T. Watts, 40, from Morgan City, La., currently residing in Palmdale, Calif., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell on one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of aggravated identity theft. She was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $45,252.02 restitution. According to the January 13, 2016 guilty plea, from February 2013 to August of 2013, Watts and co-defendant Louis W. Carbins Jr., 36, of Patterson, La., knew and allowed individuals from overseas to use stolen identities to file tax returns. The overseas individuals then directed the IRS to deposit the refunds into Carbins’ bank accounts. Watts and Carbins would then wire some of the money overseas and keep the rest. The IRS issued more than $815,000 in refunds to Carbins’ accounts. Watts and Carbins spent $45,681.22 of the funds.
Carbins was sentenced on August 29, 2016 to 60 months in prison and three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $45,252.02 restitution. He was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, seven counts of theft of government money and one count of aggravated identity theft after a three-day trial that ended May 25, 2016.
The IRS conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly P. Uebinger and Robert F. Moore are prosecuting the case.