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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Patterson man sentenced to 60 months in prison for scheme with Morgan City woman to commit tax fraud

ALEXANDRIA, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a Patterson man was sentenced to 60 months in prison Monday for his role in a scheme to use stolen identities to file false tax returns and pocket refunds.

Louis W. Carbins Jr., 37, of Patterson, La., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell on one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, seven counts of theft of government money and one count of aggravated identity theft. He was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $43,045.31 to the IRS and $2,196.71 to Patterson State Bank in restitution. Carbins was found guilty on all charges after a three-day trial that ended on May 25, 2016.

According to evidence submitted at trial, from February 2013 to August 2013, Carbins and co-defendant Laphrida T. Watts, 40, from Morgan City, La., but who currently resides in Palmdale, Calif., 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. Carbins and Watts would then wire some of the money overseas and keep the rest.  The IRS issued more than $815,000 in refunds to Carbins’ accounts. Carbins and Watts spent $45,681.22 of the funds.

Watts pleaded guilty on January 13, 2016 to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of aggravated identity theft. She faces up to 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release for the conspiracy count and an additional two years in prison for the identity theft count. Watts is scheduled to be sentenced on September 26, 2016.

The IRS conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly P. Uebinger and Robert F. Moore are prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Tax
Updated August 30, 2016