Indianapolis woman gets prison time for identity theft, tax fraud

An Indianapolis woman has been sentenced to 37 months in prison for federal tax fraud, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana said Wednesday.

Irene Woods, 35, pleaded guilty last week to one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. The case was heard by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt in U.S. District Court.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the case began more than six years ago, when the Internal Revenue Service identified 69 tax returns with suspicious deductions filed from an internet protocol address belonging to Woods. The returns sought more than $350,000 in tax refunds. The IRS said 46 of the taxpayers whose names were on those returns had not actually filed the returns and were victims of identity theft.

After executing a search warrant at Woods’ home in May 2013, investigators for the IRS found 100 debit cards in more than 80 different names. It also found about 70 business credit applications that contained victim names and Social Security numbers, birth dates and other personal information.

Woods admitted to using the stolen information to file fraudulent tax returns for both herself and for people she knew for the 2011 and 2012 tax years, prosecutors said.

Following her imprisonment, Woods will be subject to two years of supervised release. She also was ordered to pay the IRS $97,963 in restitution.

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