Yolando Blount Sentenced to 27 Years in Nursing Home Identity Theft Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 22, 2014|
Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announces that Yolando Blount, aka Yolanda King, 32, of Macon, Georgia, was sentenced on Friday, January 22, 2014, to serve 324 months (27 years) of imprisonment in a case of wire fraud, mail fraud, conspiracy, theft of public money, aggravated identity theft, and access device fraud. The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Marc T. Treadwell, United States District Court Judge, in Macon, Georgia. The court also ordered Ms. Blount to pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of $493,506.60.
Ms. Blount entered a plea of guilty to the charges on September 4, 2013. In her plea agreement, the defendant admitted that beginning in 2010, she obtained stolen identities of nursing home patients and used that information to file fraudulent income tax returns. Some federal tax refunds were processed in the names of the patients and mailed to Ms. Blount’s address. Others were directly deposited into a bank account belonging to the defendant.
The tax returns found on the defendant’s laptop computer represent refund claims filed against the government in the amount of $511,951. From those claims, the Internal Revenue Service actually paid out $460,692 in false claims. The total amount of actual loss to the United Sates, including the nursing home patient refunds and the Capital City Bank refunds, was $493,506.60. The total amount of fraudulent refund claims is $550,150.60.
U.S. Attorney Michael Moore said, “Ms. Blount’s actions represent the worst kind of greed accompanied by criminal conduct. Not only did she use the stolen identification of nursing home patients to advance her scheme, she stole from the American people when she obtained the fraudulent refunds. Ms. Blount’s fraud was far-reaching, and she is deserving of this harsh sentence. Identity theft and fraud are not victimless crimes; when you want to know who the victims are, all you have to do is look in the mirror.”
“The United States Secret Service and our law enforcement partners work tirelessly to thoroughly investigate cases like this. We will continue to take an aggressive approach to arrest those who violate the faith and trust of victims such as the unsuspecting nursing home patients in this case,” said Reginald G. Moore, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Atlanta Field Office.
"Today’s sentencing of Ms. Blount should serve as a stark reminder to others that such greed based criminal behavior as seen in this case comes with a cost," stated Special Agent in Charge, Veronica F. Hyman-Pillot. "IRS-Criminal Investigation is united with the law enforcement community to continue with the aggressive pursuit of individuals who commit crimes against our society and the United States Treasury."
“The Treasury Office of Inspector General is proud to be a part of this joint effort to combat identity theft and fraud against the U.S. Treasury,” said John L. Phillips, Assistant Inspector General for Investigations.
Ricky Maxwell, Acting Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated, "The FBI will continue to provide investigative resources toward such cases as this that victimize so many, to include the elderly, through identity theft. Anyone with information regarding such activities should contact their nearest FBI field office."
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, United States Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Treasury Department-OIG, and Macon Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Graham A. Thorpe.
Inquiries regarding the case should be directed to Pamela Lightsey, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603.