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October 24, 2018

IRS Employee Pleads Guilty in a Stolen-Identity Refund Fraud Scheme

On August 9, 2018, in the Northern District of Georgia, former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee Stephanie Parker pled guilty to one count of aggravated identity theft for her role in a stolen-identity refund fraud scheme. Parker was indicted in April 2017 for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft related to the scheme.

According to the court documents, Parker had been employed by the IRS since November 2010 in its Chamblee, Georgia, office. Through her employment, Parker had access to the means of identification of others, which could include any information used to identify a specific individual, such as name, Social Security Number (SSN), date of birth, and address.

The indictment alleged that from at least September 2012 through at least April 2013, Parker knowingly devised a scheme to defraud the IRS and to obtain money by means of false representations, in the course of which she used the means of identification of others without lawful authority. Specifically, through her IRS employment, Parker accessed taxpayer information, including the names and SSNs of five individuals, and used this information for her own benefit. Parker and others prepared and electronically filed fraudulent income tax returns in the names of those five individuals and directed the anticipated tax refunds to bank accounts held in the names of others. All of the fraudulent returns were electronically filed from Parker's residence in Atlanta, Georgia.

Parker will face a mandatory two-year sentence of imprisonment for aggravated identity theft. Additionally, she may be subject to a fine of up to $250,000, full restitution to the IRS, and one year of supervised release following her imprisonment. A sentencing date has not been set.

    Source:  The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: N.D. Ga. Indict. filed Apr. 25, 2017; N.D. Ga. Plea Agr. filed Aug. 9, 2018; N.D. Ga. Crim. Docket as of Sep. 6, 2018.