On Wednesday, August 30, 2017, it was announced that a Pittsburg, California woman had been sentenced to 84 months in prison for her involvement in a tax fraud scheme. Ebony Standifer was sentenced for conspiracy to file false claims, aggravated identity theft and criminal contempt. Honorable Charles Breyer also ordered Standifer to pay $193,602 in restitution.
According to court documents, 30-year-old Standifer of Pittsburg, California admitted that she conspired with others to file false income tax returns from 2010 to 2012. Standifer conspired with others to obtain the names of individuals to use for the false tax returns. She used those identities and filed the returns without alerting the individuals listed on the documents.
Besides using the person’s name, she also used their Social Security number. Standifer also made up amounts for incomes and taxes withheld. Then, the defendant requested refunds based on the erroneous figures. The defendant filed false returns electronically from numerous locations. She also kept notebooks that recorded the money stolen and the identities used.
Between the years of 2010 and 2012, Standifer attempted to obtain $656,000 from the scheme. The IRS actually only paid $193,602. Standifer was indicted by a grand jury on October 28, 2014. She subsequently pleaded guilty on August 19, 2015. On February 3, 2016, Standifer was charged with two additional counts of criminal contempt. She pleaded guilty to the new charges on February 22, 2017.
In addition to 84 months in prison, Standifer has also been ordered to serve 36 months of supervised release.