Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty To Filing False Returns

A Tangipahoa Parish woman has pleaded guilty to charges filed against her in a scheme to file fraudulent income tax returns using stolen IDs.

Prosecutors say 41-year-old Alicia Washington and others obtained electronic filing identification numbers in the names of several tax return preparation businesses and used stolen IDs belonging to individuals who had been arrested or jailed to claim refunds in the form of checks and prepaid debit cards.  The checks were cashed by co-conspirators.

The fraudulent returns were filed with the IRS from 2008 through 2016.

Washington has pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and aggravated identity theft.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 31 before U.S. District Court Judge Susie Morgan. 

Washington faces a a minimum sentence of 2 years for the identity theft count and a maximum of five years in prison for the conspiracy count.  She also faces financial penalties and is likely to be ordered to pay restitution.  

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