With money tight in today's time, many people begin to consider illegal activity as a means of keeping their head above water. Three Georgia women have pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy for their part in an identify theft scam that fraudulently allowed them to deposit tax refunds into several financial institutions in the Pittsburgh area.
The women, age 26, 37, and 57, used Social Security numbers stolen from prisoners in Georgia to obtain the money.
An IRS Criminal Investigations probe pinpointed the fraud, noting that the women created fake accounting businesses to file, both through the mail and electronically, nearly 600 fake returns that brought them refunds of $2 million.
The women set up the scam to have the refunds sent to accounts in Pittsburgh, as well as other cities throughout the country. An assistant U.S. attorney told the U.S. District Judge overseeing the case that one of the women was instructed by her boyfriend, who was charged separately as a result.
The 37-year-old woman is being held in Allegheny County Jail, due to the fact that she has a past criminal record. The others, who have a clean past, were released until sentencing.
These women made the mistake of setting up an elaborate tax fraud scheme with the hope of collecting millions of dollars that they were not entitled to. After being caught through an IRS Criminal Investigations probe, all three, along with another party, now find themselves in trouble with the law. At this point, they are awaiting sentencing to see what their future holds.
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Three Georgia women plead guilty to wire fraud that sent tax refunds to Pittsburgh" Rich Lord, May. 15, 2014