Alabama Woman Sentenced to Prison for Stolen Identity Refund Fraud

A Dothan, Alabama, woman was sentenced to serve 34 months in prison in connection with her role in committing stolen identity tax refund fraud.

On July 16, a jury found Nina Macena, 32, guilty of conspiring to defraud the government through the filing of false tax returns, three counts of wire fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft. U.S. District Court Judge Thompson also ordered Macena to pay restitution in the amount of $109,480.

According to court documents and evidence from the trial, Macena provided stolen identities to Ivory Bolen, also of Dothan, who used the identities to file false tax returns that fraudulently requested refunds from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  Bolen would attempt to have the refunds deposited onto prepaid debit cards, which would be mailed to addresses controlled by Bolen and Macena.  Macena obtained the identities from Roderick Neal, a former bail bondsman in Dothan, who had access to the personal information of individuals who had been detained at the Dothan City Jail.  Both Bolen and Neal previously pleaded guilty to their involvement in the scheme.   Altogether, Bolen filed tax returns claiming more than $300,000 in refunds using the stolen identities that Macena provided, but the IRS successfully stopped a number of the fraudulent returns.  Macena was ultimately convicted by the jury on all counts in the indictment.

Macena testified in her own defense at trial and admitted that she had obtained information from Neal for Bolen, but claimed that she was unaware of the nature of the information.  She also testified that she stored items for Bolen in her storage unit but that she was unaware of what she was storing.  At sentencing, the judge found that her testimony was not credible and consequently increased her prison time.

SOURCE: Department of Justice

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