MS: Meridian Residents Sentenced to Prison for Stolen Identify Tax Refund Fraud

Joyce Knight, 38, and Daniel Kelley, 41, both of Meridian, have been sentenced by U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate for their roles in a conspiracy to steal identities of state inmates and to use those stolen identities to file false federal income tax returns, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis and Jerome R. McDuffie, Special Agent in charge of Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation.

Daniel Kelley was sentenced on September 28, 2015, to 72 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. Joyce Knight was sentenced on October 2, 2015, to 26 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. Both defendants must also repay $51,992.73 to the Internal Revenue Service.

Kelley, while incarcerated in several different state prisons, stole the identities of fellow inmates and gave those stolen identities to Knight who submitted false federal tax returns to the IRS. Knight was able to get the refund checks cashed at a nearby gas station and transfer the stolen funds back to Kelley by loading the money onto “Green Dot” stored value cards. Knight would provide Kelley with the account numbers of the “Green Dot” cards, and Kelley could then use the funds for his benefit while in prison. According to Kelley and Knight, they were able to communicate with each other via cell phones that Kelley was able to obtain while he was in prison. The false tax returns claimed $127,000.00 in refunds. The defendants actually received about $51,992.73.

This case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Gilbert.

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

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