Officials: Phenix City woman steals over 1,000 identities; some deployed soldiers

spedersen@ledger-enquirer.comFebruary 28, 2014 

A Phenix City woman who worked at Martin Army Community Hospital has been indicted for her involvement in identify fraud by filing over 1,000 false tax returns from her home, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The indictment of Tracy Mitchell was unsealed Thursday, according to Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally of the Justice Department's Tax Division and U.S. Attorney George L. Beck Jr. for the Middle District of Alabama.

Mitchell has been charged with eight counts of wire fraud and eight counts of aggravated identity theft.

From her job at the hospital, she had access to the identification of military personnel, including soldiers who were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a release. Officials say she "stole the identities of military personnel and used those identities to file over 1,000 false tax returns from her home. These false tax returns claimed over $2.2 million in fraudulent refunds."

According to the indictment, this occurred between December 2012 and December 2013. Authorities found $329,242 "in illicit proceeds at her residence," the report states.

The following are the eight times authorities say Mitchell committed wire fraud:

• On or about March 5, 2013, electronically filed a tax return in the name of "A.R." and claimed a tax refund of $2,279.

• On or about March 5, 2013, electronically filed a tax return in the name of "C.R." and claimed a tax refund of $2,321.

• On or about March 5, 2013, electronically filed a tax return in the name of "C.I." and claimed a tax refund of $2,287.

• On or about March 5, 2013, electronically filed a tax return in the name of "J.C." and claimed a tax refund of $2,312.

• On or about March 9, 2013, electronically filed a tax return in the name of "T.B." and claimed a tax refund of $1,890.

• On or about March 10, 2013, electronically filed a tax return in the name of "N.S." and claimed a tax refund of $2,295.

• On or about March 10 2013, electronically filed a tax return in the name of "T.C." and claimed a tax refund of $2,209.

• On or about March 16, 2013, electronically filed a tax return in the name of "M.G." and claimed a tax refund of $5,079.

If Mitchell is convicted, she could face a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison for each wire fraud charge. The mandatory sentence for each aggravated identity theft charge is two years. Fines, forfeiture and restitution is also possible, according to the release.

Mitchell has retained Montgomery lawyer Dwayne Brown has her attorney, according to court filings. Calls to Brown's office were unsuccessful.

Those investigation the case include special agents of the Internal Revenue Service -- Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Army -- Criminal Investigation Division.

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