Jury Convicts Georgia Woman for Stolen Identity Tax Refund Fraud
A jury in the Middle District of Georgia convicted Kimberly Michelle Banks on Jan. 14, 2014, of conspiring to file false federal income tax returns in the names of stolen identities, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. Banks was also convicted of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and theft of government money.
According to evidence introduced at trial, Banks obtained the names and Social Security numbers of nursing home patients from her employer and conspired with Donalene Mosely, Arneshia Austin and others to use the stolen identifying information to steal money from the government. Mosely and Austin each pleaded guilty to related charges before trial. Several victims testified that they did not consent to the use of their names and Social Security numbers on these tax returns and testified that they did not receive any money from refunds generated from the false tax returns filed with the IRS. The tax returns at issue were filed from two internet protocol addresses assigned to Banks, and the fraudulent tax refunds were deposited onto prepaid debit cards mailed to addresses belonging to Banks and others, including Mosely and Austin. The evidence also revealed that Banks and others used the stolen proceeds to make payments on their car loans, to throw a party and to buy products online.
The court has not yet scheduled sentencing for Banks, Mosely or Austin. Banks faces a statutory minimum of two years in prison for aggravated identity theft, a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison for each wire fraud count and 10 years in prison for each theft of government money count. Banks, Mosely and Austin each face a statutory maximum of five years in prison for the conspiracy count.
This case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Justin Gelfand, Kimberly Shartar and Alexander Effendi for the Tax Division. Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Georgia and the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance with this prosecution.