Public health employee sentenced after tax fraud scheme
BATON ROUGE- A 26-year-old former public health employee was sentenced to federal prison for identity theft and tax fraud scheme, according to United States Attorney Walt Green.
Ta’sha Thomas, former employee of the Ascension Parish Health Unit, was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison for stealing and selling the social security numbers of over 425 people.
The social security numbers were used to obtain over $464,000 in fraudulent tax returns from the United States Treasury.
Thomas was also sentenced to a 3-year term of supervised release and ordered to pay $464, 764 in restitution.
In June 2015, Thomas pled guilty to access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.
Thomas used a database from her employer over a 6 month period in 2012. She then sold this information to Mona Hill who used the information to file fraudulent federal tax returns.
Thomas is one of four people to be charged in connection with the scheme.
The following is the status of the other three involved:
Mona Hill, age 34, of Plaquemine, Louisiana, has been sentenced to 65 months in federal prison and to pay $491,268.18 in restitution to the IRS.
Cameron Butler, age 33, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has pled guilty to receiving stolen government funds. He is awaiting sentencing.
Shonda V. Johnson, age 42, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has pled guilty to receiving stolen government funds. She is awaiting sentencing.
“It seems like this defendant, together with the others involved in the scheme, sought to cover the world of white collar crime: public corruption, identity theft, stealing government money, and
false tax documents. Today’s prison sentence reflects the results of those efforts,” Green said.
“I greatly appreciate the excellent work of IRS Criminal Investigations and the prosecutor in this important matter. We will continue to work with our partners to root out fraud and corruption wherever found.”
Jerome McDuff, Special Agent-in-Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation, said that the department will continue to work to protect taxpayers.
“Special Agents of IRS Criminal Investigation will continue to aggressively work with the United States Attorney's Office to protect taxpayers’ interests and thoroughly investigate fraudulent tax refund schemes.”