Tampa Woman Sentenced to 12 Years in Federal Prison for Stolen Identity Refund Fraud
TAMPA, FL—U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich today sentenced Rita Girven (33, Tampa) to 12 years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. She pleaded guilty on March 16, 2015.
According to court documents, from an unknown date, through at least May 2013, Girven participated in a scheme to defraud the IRS. As part of the scheme, Girven, together with others, obtained the personally identifiable information of others without their knowledge from a variety of sources, including online ancestry websites and from individuals who had access to law enforcement databases. The information was then used to file fraudulent federal income tax returns. The fraudulent tax refunds were then wired onto reloadable debit cards obtained by Girven, or to bank accounts she had opened, often in the names of others. Girven participated in the filing of false tax returns in the names of more than 500 victims, claiming more than $3.6 million in refunds that she shared with her co-conspirators.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigation, the Tampa Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mandy Riedel and Megan Kistler.