Woman sentenced to prison for tax refund scheme

Judge said refund checks totaled more than $350,000

By Nick Jones - Producer
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TAMPA, Fla. - A U.S. district judge sentenced a woman to prison Tuesday for her role in a stolen identity income tax refund scheme.

According to the Department of Justice, Judge James S. Moody Jr. sentenced Beverly McFadden, 23, to six years and nine months in federal prison.

On Sept. 24, McFadden pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and steal government funds, according to the Justice Department. DOJ said she also pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated identity theft.

The DOJ said according to court documents, McFadden, who had a bank account at Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union, conspired with a bank teller, Louren Velez, to cash 47 fraudulently obtained income tax refund checks.

The refund checks totaled more than $350,000 through that financial institution, according to the DOJ.

The Justice Department said McFadden also received help from Larry Walker, another person with a bank account at Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union. 

Walker pleaded guilty on Apr. 23 for his role in the scheme. He was sentenced to six months house arrest, according to the DOJ, and a three-year term of supervised release.

The Justice Department said Velez, the bank teller, was charged by information on Jun. 28.  

The case has been investigated by the Internal Revenue Service and the Tampa Police Department.

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