Independence Woman Sentenced for Fraud Scheme, Identity Theft
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – An Independence, Mo., woman was sentenced in federal court today for stealing the identities of relatives and acquaintances to file fraudulent tax returns.
Sheryl D. Hughes, 41, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs to three years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Hughes to pay $7,045 in restitution to her victims.
On June 8, 2018, Hughes pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
Hughes obtained Social Security numbers from several relatives and acquaintances and used them to prepare false and fraudulent individual income tax returns. The income tax returns included false information concerning, among other things, income earned, federal income tax withheld, false education credits, and false and fraudulent claims for income tax refunds. Hughes also used false addresses to have the tax refund checks mailed to an address accessible to her, or for refunds to be made by electronic transfers to debit cards or bank accounts accessible to her.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Larson. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.