Kimberly Banks, Donalene Mosley and Arneshia Austin were sentenced Thursday in Albany to serve 192 months, 37 months and 21 months in prison, respectively, for crimes relating to filing fraudulent income tax returns using stolen identities.
Banks, who was a certified nursing assistant, was convicted in January of conspiring to file false federal income tax returns in the names of stolen identities, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and theft of government money.
Mosely and Austin each pleaded guilty to conspiracy prior to trial. In addition to their terms of imprisonment, the court ordered Banks, Mosley and Austin to pay $275,134 in restitution and to serve three years supervised release.
Banks obtained the names and Social Security numbers of nursing home patients from her employer and conspired with Mosely, Austin, and others to use the stolen identifying information to steal money from the government in the form of tax refunds.
The tax returns were filed from internet protocol addresses assigned to Banks, and the fraudulent tax refunds were deposited onto prepaid debit cards that were mailed to addresses belonging to Banks, Mosely, Austin and others.
Banks and others used the stolen proceeds to make payments on their car loans and on their mortgages, to throw a red-carpet party, and to buy products online.
Banks and her co-conspirators prepared 187 fraudulent tax returns that claimed over $600,000 in false refunds.
The case was investigated by special agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigation with the assistance of the Crisp County Sheriff's Office. Trial Attorneys Kimberly Shartar and Alexander Effendi of the Tax Division prosecuted the case.
Copyright 2014 WALB. All rights reserved.