IDs stolen from jailed, arrested people used in tax fraud
NEW ORLEANS - Federal prosecutors say a southeast Louisiana woman has acknowledged filing phony tax returns using identification stolen from people who had been jailed or arrested.
U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite says in a news release that 41-year-old Alicia Washington of Tangipahoa Parish pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy and aggravated identity theft.
She faces at least two years in prison for the identity theft conviction, and up to five years for conspiracy. Sentencing is scheduled May 31.
Prosecutors say the scheme ran from 2008 through 2016.
According to court documents, Washington and others used electronic filing identification numbers they'd obtained in the names of several tax return preparers. Authorities say the IRS sent checks and prepaid debit cards, which were cashed by check cashers in on the plot.
The investigation is continuing.