United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver said in a statement Tuesday U.S. District Court Judge B. Avant Edenfield sentenced 27 year old Tidaesha V. Taylor of College Park and 21 year old Gregory Fitzgerald Smith, Jr., from Stone Mountain for their parts in a scheme to steal identities and submit false tax returns. Tarver said bogus tax refunds costs American over a billion dollars. The two entered guilty pleas in August.
Judge Edenfield sentenced Taylor to six years and three months in prison. Smith was sentenced to seven years and 11 months in prison.
Tarver said they and 11 others stole personal information such as names, birth dates, Social Security numbers which they used to submit fraudulent tax returns to obtain tax refunds to which they were not entitled.
Those already sentenced to prison are Yolanda Edmond, Gloria Evans, Erica Baldwin, Shakita Eason, Dwan Scott, Joshua Mincey and Tracy Denson from Statesboro; Asha K. Spaulding from Claxton; Andrea Webb from Register; Porsche S. Pinkney of Augusta and Jenna Scott from Jacksonville, Florida.
The arrests followed an investigation headed up by Statesboro FBI Special Agent Marcus Kirkland and IRS Criminal Investigations Special Agent Gwen Weston. They were assisted by the Statesboro Police Department, Bulloch County Sheriff's Office and Region 5 of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Lamont A. Belk was the prosecutor.