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IRS Employee Admits to Criminal Identity Theft

Call center staffer used taxpayer Social Security numbers to file fraudulent returns.

At a time when curbing identity theft is high on the Internal Revenue Service’s agenda, an Atlanta-based IRS employee has pleaded guilty to a stolen identity fraud scheme.

The Justice Department announced on Thursday that IRS contact representative Stephanie Parker, based in Atlanta, admitted to at least five instances between September 2012 and March 2013 in which, after taking calls from taxpayers seeking help, she “used the taxpayers’ personal information to electronically file fraudulent tax returns in their names without their authorization.”

She used the callers’ Social Security numbers and home addresses to file phony tax returns and then directed the refund checks to be deposited in bank accounts controlled by her friends.

“Parker, in turn, had the money withdrawn from at least one of those accounts and deposited a portion of the money into her own bank account and used it for personal expenses,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard Zuckerman of the Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Byung Pak of the Northern District of Georgia.

Parker faces a mandatory sentence of two years in prison, as well as a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.

The department commended the work on the case by special agents of IRS–Criminal Investigation and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Michael Boteler, Alexander Effendi and Melanie Smith of the Tax Division.