Nakeisha Hall, a former IRS worker, was sentenced by a federal judge to nine years and two months in prison Wednesday, the Washington Post is reporting. The 40-year-old woman pleaded guilty in February to running a $1 million identity ID theft tax scam and perpetuating bank and mail fraud.
Chief U.S. District Judge Karon O. Bowdre ordered Hall to pay $438,187 in restitution to the IRS and to pay the same amount to the U.S. government as a fine for illegal activity. Judge Bowdre said the severity of Hall’s sentence was largely due to her abusing her position of trust as an employee for the IRS.
Hall is the daughter of a long-term IRS employee, and started working for the Internal Revenue Service in 2000. She was saddled with providing assistance to victims of identity theft by helping them unearth and remove bogus tax information from their accounts.
U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vane, head of the IRS Criminal Investigation, revealed that the former IRS employee used her privileged position to access taxpayer’s identities and successfully claim more than $400,000 in deceitful tax refunds.
“Hall victimized United States taxpayers and jeopardized the reputation of the IRS and its division that is intended to assist taxpayers experiencing problems resulting from identity theft. Today’s sentence reflects the outrageous and serious nature of her crime.”
Three co-conspirators also pleaded guilty to defrauding taxpayers. Jimmie Goodman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank and mail fraud. The 37-year-old had been previously convicted of identity-theft. He was sentenced in July to three years and five months in prison and instructed to pay $82,802 to the IRS and government.
Lashon Roberson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud relating to affecting a financial institution. The 36-year-old who had worked for many years in the financial services sector was given a three-year sentence and told to pay $119,185 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.
Hall was the ringleader in an extensive scheme that operated from Birmingham between 2008 and 2011. The fraudulent scheme revolved around stealing personal information from the IRS and using it to produce counterfeit tax returns and collecting the refunds generated.
Hall requested that the IRS make refunds on debit cards and mail them to addresses controlled by her gang of thieves. Her co-conspirators would then activate the card via the stolen identity information they had obtained, and withdraw money from automated teller machines or use them in stores. In extreme cases, Hall and her accomplices forged signatures on refund checks and cashed them.
One of their victims was a 77-year-old man from Alabama. Hall had infiltrated his personal information for no justifiable reason and filed a federal tax return in the man’s name with a bogus address. She had claimed that the man was a Wal-Mart employee and was owed an IRS refund. Jimmie Goodman had received a credit card with the victim’s name with over $1,400 on it.
The criminals had impersonated IRS agents and demanded money from the unsuspecting victims, telling them to pay up or they would be hauled off to jail. The desperate criminals had asked some of their victims to pay up with iTunes gift cards. The crooks were calling their victims outside the United States, and were able to conceal their telephone numbers with Voiceover features.
[Photo by Susan Walsh/AP Images]