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Press Release

Memphis Woman Sentenced In Tax Fraud Identity Theft Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Tennessee

Memphis, TN – Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, and Christopher A. Henry, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation, announced today that Nakita Brooks, 31, of Memphis, Tennessee, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John T. Fowlkes, Jr. to serve 120 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution of $690,767.84 to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

On April 11, 2014, Brooks pled guilty to one count of a three-count indictment charging her and co-conspirator, Cheryl Wright, 30, with conspiracy to file false tax returns, theft of public money and identity theft. According to the facts presented in the indictment and revealed during sentencing hearings, beginning as early as February 2010 through at least November 2011, Brooks and Wright filed hundreds of false tax returns using the personal identifying information of deceased individuals, including social security numbers.

In addition to filing false returns, Wright and Brooks also set up tax return services using stolen identities as the preparers of the returns. In 2010, the name of the company used to prepare the returns was Rattler’s Tax Pals. In 2011, the name of the company used to prepare the returns was Taxes Express. Three individuals, including a nine-year old girl from Indiana, had their tax information fraudulently listed as the preparers for these companies.

Wright is scheduled to be sentenced July 24, 2014, before U.S. District Judge John T. Fowlkes, Jr.

This investigation was conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Pritchard represented the government.

Updated March 19, 2015