Two Women Charged With Filing More Than 850 Fraudulent Tax Returns Worth $2.78M

Image courtesy of (Consumerist Dot Com)

Every year you hear about identity thieves filing tax returns in other peoples’ names in order to snatch their refunds, but you may not realize what a big business this is for some crooks. Case in point: A pair of Illinois women who have pleaded guilty to filing more than 850 bogus returns worth nearly $2.8 million in refunds.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday that the two women pleaded guilty to conspiracy, identity theft, and other charges related to a three-year long scheme to file at least 858 fraudulent income tax returns using stolen names and Social Security numbers.

According to the DOJ, from 2012 to 2015 Roxann Gist and Dominique King, along with another co-conspirator, acquired the personal information of thousands of consumers in order to file tax returns.

In all, the scheme sought income tax returns totaling $2,780,724. The woman allegedly created a system in which they asked others to receive and collect the fraudulent returns or to open bank accounts that would received the directly deposited funds.

Gist, 45, who is scheduled to be sentenced June 6, faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for conspiracy to steal public funds, 10 years in prison for theft of public money and a two-year mandatory minimum sentence for aggravated identity theft.

King, 26, is set to be sentenced June 14, and faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison for conspiracy to steal public funds and a two-year mandatory minimum sentence for aggravated identity theft.

The two women could also have to pay restitution to victims of the scheme.

As we previously reported identity theft is a major concern during tax time. Still, there are a number of measures consumers can do to protect their tax returns, namely filing as soon as possible.