Alabama Man Pleads Guilty to Involvement in Identity Theft Scheme Using Prisoner Names and Corrupt U.S. Postal Service Employee
Gregory Slaton pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to file false claims for his involvement in a Stolen Identity Tax Refund (SIRF) scheme, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ronald A. Cimino of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney George L. Beck Jr. for the Middle District of Alabama announced.
According to the court documents and court proceedings, Gregory Slaton conspired with his wife, Jacqueline Slaton, of Montgomery, Alabama, his brother-in-law, Harvey James, of Birmingham, Alabama, and a U.S. Postal Service employee, Vernon Harrison, also of Montgomery, to file false tax returns using stolen identities. James and Jacqueline Slaton obtained stolen identities, including identities of inmates, and used those identities to file the false tax returns. They directed the fraudulently claimed tax refunds to prepaid debit cards and checks. Gregory Slaton recruited Harrison into the conspiracy, who then provided Gregory Slaton with mailing addresses on his postal route to which they could mail the fraudulently claimed prepaid debit cards. James and Jacqueline Slaton then directed the tax refunds issued via debit cards and checks to be sent to specified addresses on Harrison’s mail route. Gregory Slaton would then collect the cards and checks from Harrison and pay Harrison.
Harrison was previously convicted at trial for conspiracy to file false claims and multiple counts of mail fraud, theft of mail and aggravated identity theft, and was sentenced to serve 111 months in prison. James pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft, and was sentenced to serve 110 months in prison. Jacqueline Slaton pleaded guilty to filing a false claim and aggravated identity theft, and was sentenced to serve 70 months in prison. A sentencing date has not been scheduled for Gregory Slaton.
The case was investigated by special agents of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of the Inspector General. Trial Attorneys Jason Poole and Michael Boteler of the Tax Division are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Brown of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Alabama.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found at the division website .
SOURCE: Department of Justice
Note: much of the stolen identity information came from inmates of the Alabama Department of Corrections. In a related prosecution, it was noted that a medical records clerk at one Alabama DOC facility was selling inmates’ information to Jacqueline Slaton.