Hammond man sentenced for stolen identity refund fraud
NEW ORLEANS - A Hammond man accused of stealing identities to file bogus tax returns was sentenced to more than two year in prison on Thursday morning.
32-year-old Darrell Harland was ordered to pay more than $65,000 in restitution to the I.R.S. and sentenced to 32 months in prison with three years of supervised release for filing the fraudulent returns.
Court documents state that St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office deputies searched Harland's Hammond residence in May and found evidence of identity theft in the form of lists of names and social security numbers in the home. Deputies said Harland admitted he had purchased the stolen identities on the internet.
The investigation by the I.R.S. revealed that Harland used several of the identities on the lists found in his home to file what appeared to fraudulent tax returns. The I.R.S. interviewed individuals on the lists to confirm that they had not given the man permission to file tax returns on their behalf and stated that the information used by Harland while filing the returns was false.
I.R.S. records indicate that Harland caused more than $65,000 in losses by filing the bogus returns with stolen identities. The bureau's investigation into the tax fraud is ongoing.