Mississippi woman pleads guilty in stolen identity fraud case

Jackson, Miss – Marietta Harris, 38, of Jackson, pled guilty on March 5, 2014 to conspiring to defraud the United States, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis. She will be sentenced on May 15, 2014 by U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate and faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Harris and her co-conspirators defrauded the government by using personal identifying information, including names and social security numbers, which had been stolen from the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility located in Rankin County, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and other locations. The information was then used to file false tax returns with the IRS which claimed the tax payers were owed a refund. The refunds were then electronically deposited into various bank accounts in Mississippi belonging to Harris and her co-conspirators.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation with assistance from the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, the Mississippi Department of Corrections and the Mississippi Department of Revenue. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Lemon.

SOURCE: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Mississippi

According to court records inspected by DataBreaches.net, the other defendants named in the first indictment and case were Ladonna Cooper, Tony Jones, Nikki Thomas, Shekeila Jones, and S’ade Tyler. Cooper was an employee of the Rankin County Correctional Facility where, in the course of her work, she had access to the computer system with identity information (including Social Security numbers and dates of birth) of current and former inmates of the Department of Corrections as well as current and former visitors to the facility.

In a second case, Harris’s co-defendants were Pamlia Johnson and Diandra Thomas. Johnson was employed at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and stole patient identity information to use in furtherance of the tax refund fraud scheme.

The Central Mississippi Correctional Facility has been mentioned on this blog previously in an unrelated case where  a former corrections officer, Janice Singleton, was convicted for using inmates’ identity information for tax refund fraud.

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