A Shands Jacksonville Medical Center nurse was sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison followed by eight years of probation for the theft of income tax return refunds.
Eraina Stoutamire, 38, pleaded guilty to one count of grand theft in February. She was arrested in October 2011 when a victim alerted police that Stoutamire prepared her 2010 tax return, and she never received the refund.
Over the last 20 years, Stoutamire prepared tax returns for extra income. Investigators found she took about $30,000 from several victims who live in Virginia. Evidence showed Stoutamire filed the victims' state and federal income tax returns and had the refunds wired into her business account. Stoutamire spent the money on dinners, clothing, trips to Disney, and her utility bills.
"This sentence sends a strong statement -- stealing from innocent victims simply will not be tolerated, particularly when those who steal are hired to perform a service for the victims," said Assistant State Attorney Dan Skinner. "The victims hired someone they trusted, yet all the while Ms. Stoutamire was stealing from them. This sentence balanced the need to punish her while also requiring her to pay back the victims she stole from."
Stoutamire has been ordered to pay $30,000 in restitution to her victims.