Alabama Rural Carrier Sentenced to Prison for Involvement in Stolen Identity Tax Refund Fraud Ring

Montgomery, AL– A Seale, Alabama resident and former U.S. Postal Service employee was sentenced today to serve more than five years in prison for her role in a stolen identity refund fraud (SIRF) conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney George L. Beck, Jr. of the Middle District of Alabama, and Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

uspsoigAccording to court documents and evidence presented at the sentencing hearing, between June 2012 and December 2013, Elizabeth Grant aka Elizabeth Williams Grant and Ann Grant, 52, conspired with others, including Tracy Mitchell of Phenix City, Alabama, and Keshia Lanier of Seale, Alabama, to obtain fraudulent income tax refunds by filing false federal income tax returns using stolen identities. For a fee, Grant provided co-conspirators with addresses along her mail delivery route to use in filing false tax returns. Grant then retrieved the fraudulent tax refund checks from the mail and delivered the checks to her co-conspirators. The scheme resulted in the filing of more than 700 false returns claiming more than $1.5 million in tax refunds.

Grant pleaded guilty in November 2015 to conspiracy to defraud the United States with respect to claims, aggravated identity theft and embezzling mail. Several co-conspirators, including Mitchell and Lanier, have already pleaded guilty and were sentenced for their roles in this scheme. On Aug. 7, 2015, Mitchell was sentenced to 159 months in prison. On Sept. 25, 2015, Lanier was sentenced to 180 months in prison. In addition to the term of imprisonment, Grant was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release and pay restitution in the amount of $978,468.