Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announced that Patrice Taylor, age 33, of Ashburn, Georgia, entered a plea of guilty Wednesday to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft before the Honorable W. Louis Sands, Senior U.S. District Court Judge, in Albany, Ga.
As a part of her plea agreement, Mrs. Taylor admitted she conspired with her husband, Antonio Taylor, and Jarrett Jones to file over 1,100 fraudulent tax returns between January 2011 and February 2013. At least 1,089 of the returns were filed electronically from two IP addresses registered to Mrs. Taylor, both located at their home.
From January 2012 to October 2012, a cell phone subscribed to Mrs. Taylor was used to call the Internal Revenue Service's Automated Electronic Filing PIN Request 114 times.
In January 2012, Mrs. Taylor filed her own fraudulent federal income tax return requesting a refund in the amount of $6,776. She claimed a dependent that she was not authorized by law to claim. Mrs. Taylor also fraudulently used the data of 14 real people.
For conspiracy to commit wire fraud, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, or both. For aggravated identity theft, she faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, a maximum fine of $250,000, or both.
“We are seeing an alarming amount of identity theft across the country. We will use every resource at our disposal to make sure that those who use stolen identities to file phony tax returns and steal money end up with an identification form unique to them – one issued by the federal prison system,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Moore.
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, assisted by the Ashburn Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Jim Crane is prosecuting the case for the Government.