Tamaica Hoskins, age 34
What she did
Led a $4 million stolen identity refund scheme
How she did it
From 2011 through 2014, Hoskins and her co-conspirators obtained the stolen identities of some employees of a company in Columbus, Georgia and others from various sources. Through two fake tax businesses, Hoskins and a co-conspirator named Roberta Pyatt obtained two Electronic Filing Identification Numbers, as well as blank checks and other banking products from various financial institutions. They filed more than 1,000 false income tax returns using the stolen identities, and collected more than $4 million in tax refunds through U.S. Treasury checks, prepaid debit cards and bank accounts controlled by their fake tax offices. They printed refund checks in the names of their numerous identity theft victims using their blank check stock.
Some of the co-conspirators in Hoskin’s tax scheme approached Lashelia Alexander, an employee of a Walmart check cashing center, who agreed to cash more than $100,000 in fraudulent refund checks in exchange for a portion of the refunds. Other checks were cashed at a variety of locations in Alabama and Georgia.
Hoskins and her co-conspirators were charged with:
Conspiracy to commit wire fraud under 18 U.S.C. 371
Theft of public money under 18 U.S. Code 641
Aggravated identity theft under 18 U.S. Code 1028A
Hoskins was sentenced to 12 years in prison and 3 three years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay $1,082,842 in restitution from the proceeds of her illegal activities. Pyatt and Alexander received lesser sentences and were also ordered to pay restitution.
At sentencing, prosecutors read statements prepared by victims of the tax fraud ring. One said that the consequence of identity theft involves more than just the loss of your money – it puts an “emotional strain on every part of your life.”
Hoskins was also co-defendant in a $24 million stolen identity tax refund fraud ring that made it to #2 on the IRS’s Top Ten Identity Theft Prosecutions of 2015.