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Justice News

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

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Georgia Women Used Stolen Identities To File For $2M In False Tax Return Refunds

PITTSBURGH - Three Georgia women pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of wire fraud conspiracy, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Heather A. Smith, 26, of Summerville, Ga.; Astrid P. Perry, 37, of Summerville, Ga.; and Beverly J. McHenry, 57, of Rome, Ga., pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer.

In connection with the guilty plea, these defendants conspired with other persons to use stolen identities to file false federal 2010 and 2011 federal income tax returns requesting refunds totaling nearly $2,000.000 into banks and credit unions in Pittsburgh and Georgia.

Judge Fischer scheduled sentencing for Sept. 26, 2014, at 9 a.m. for McHenry and 11:30 a.m. for Perry. Smith’s sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 30, 2014, at 9 a.m. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not more than 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Gregory C. Melucci is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of these defendants.

Updated July 14, 2015