Pennsylvania Woman Pleads Guilty in $1.8 Million Tax Fraud Conspiracy
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 01, 2013|
WILMINGTON, DE—Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that Stephanie Patterson, age 41, of Royersford, Pennsylvania, pled guilty today to violations of 18 USC § 286 (false claims conspiracy), 18 USC § 1341 (mail fraud), and 42 U.S.C. § 408(a)(7)(B) & 18 U.S.C. § 2 (aiding and abetting Social Security fraud). Patterson, who will be sentenced on March 13, 2014, by the Honorable Leonard P. Stark, United States District Judge for the District of Delaware, faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release.
According to statements made at the plea hearing and documents filed in court, the defendant participated in a tax fraud conspiracy involving the filing of more than 180 false individual federal income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service, using stolen identities. The returns sought refunds of more than $1.8 million. The defendant and her co-conspirators received more than $800,000 on account of the fraudulent returns. The defendant’s role in the conspiracy involved providing names and Social Security numbers to another co-conspirator, who used the information to file the fraudulent returns. The defendant also acted as a facilitator between the co-conspirators responsible for filing the tax returns and those who provided additional compromised identities. The defendant received more than $55,000 in fraud proceeds for her part in the scheme.
U.S. Attorney Oberly gave the following comments: “This case should send a clear signal that individuals who conspire with others to file false claims against the United States Treasury will face significant penalties. My office is committed to working with the Internal Revenue Service to prosecute these cases, and I will seek incarceration wherever possible and appropriate.”
“These unscrupulous defendants thought they had figured out a clever scheme to thwart the IRS and steal from American taxpayers,” said Akeia Conner, IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge. “The IRS has made investigating refund fraud and identity theft a top priority and we will vigorously pursue those who undermine the integrity of the U.S. tax system. We are obliged to our law enforcement partners and the United States Attorney’s office for their continued support of our endeavors.”
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lauren Paxton.