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Maryland Woman Sentenced to Prison for Her Role in Stolen Identity and Tax Refund Fraud Scheme: A Maryland woman was sentenced today to 28 months in prison for her involvement in a scheme to fraudulently obtain millions of dollars in income tax refunds, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu for the District of Columbia, Special Agent in Charge Kimberly Lappin of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Washington D.C. Field Office, Inspector in Charge Robert B. Wemyss of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Washington Division and Assistant Inspector General for Investigations John L. Phillips of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

According to court documents, Cheryle Murphy, 48, participated in a massive and sophisticated stolen identity refund fraud scheme involving a network of more than 130 people, many of whom were receiving public assistance.  Conspirators fraudulently claimed refunds for tax years 2005 through 2012, often in the names of people whose identities had been stolen, including the elderly, people in assisted living facilities, drug addicts, and incarcerated prisoners. The overall case involved the filing of over 12,000 fraudulent federal income tax returns that sought at least $42 million in refunds.

Conspirators played various roles in the scheme to include: stealing identifying information, creating and mailing fraudulent federal tax returns, cashing fraudulent refund checks and forging endorsements of identity theft victims. The false returns typically reported inflated or fictitious income from a sole proprietorship and claimed phony dependents to generate an Earned Income Tax Credit, a refundable federal income tax credit for working families with low to moderate incomes. To date, approximately two dozen participants in this scheme have pleaded guilty.

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Maryland Woman Sentenced to Prison for Her Role in Stolen Identity and Tax Refund Fraud Scheme: A Maryland woman was sentenced today to 28 months in prison for her involvement in a scheme to fraudulently obtain millions of dollars in income tax refunds, announced