Tampa Woman Sentenced to More Than Five Years in Prison for Tax Fraud and Identity Theft
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 12, 2012|
TAMPA, FL—U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven today sentenced Belinda Brooks (47, Tampa) to five-and-a-half years in federal prison for stolen identity refund fraud. Judge Scriven sentenced Brooks to a term of 42 months’ imprisonment for theft of government property, to be followed by an additional 24 months for aggravated identity theft. As part of her sentence, the court also entered a money judgment in the amount of $118,882.63, the proceeds of Brooks’ criminal activity. She pleaded guilty on May 25, 2012.
According to court documents, in addition to filing her own false tax return, Brooks stole the names and Social Security numbers of other individuals in order to file fraudulent tax returns in their names and obtain tax refunds for the tax years 2008 and 2009.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Amanda L. Riedel and Sara C. Sweeney.
This case is part of Operation Rainmaker, a coordinated effort among the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida and various federal and local law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Secret Service, IRS, United States Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Tampa Police Department, and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department to combat the filing of false tax returns in the Tampa Bay region.