Tampa Woman Gets 5½-Years For Tax-Fraud

TAMPA – A Tampa woman who stole the identifications of others to file more than 150 fraudulent tax returns was sentenced to 5½ years in federal prison on Tuesday, authorities said.

Nikia Williams, 29, pleaded guilty Feb. 27 to theft of government property and aggravated identity theft, the Department of Justice said in a news release.

In addition to prison time, Williams was ordered to forfeit jewelry valued at more than $110,000, money traceable to proceeds of the crimes, the news release said. She also forfeited a 2007 Mercedes-Benz she purchased using $30,000 in cash, the news release said.

According to court documents, Williams engaged in stolen-identity tax-refund fraud beginning as far back as January 2011. According to the documents, more than 150 fraudulent tax returns were electronically filed from her residence during this period.

Williams was linked to additional tax returns based on her use of debit cards containing fraudulently obtained tax refunds, the department said.

Source: Associated Press