Criminal Justice News

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Oregon Woman Pleads Guilty to Aggravated Identity Theft



A resident of Portland, Oregon, pleaded guilty today to aggravated identity theft announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo, head of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, and United States Attorney Billy Williams for the District of Oregon.

According to the plea agreement, Roychelle Brown, 45, admitted that she stole personal identifying information of homeless individuals and veterans from her employment at Central City Concern, a program dedicated to helping fight homelessness and joblessness for residents of Portland, Oregon. Brown admitted to collecting the information for individuals she believed had died and providing the stolen identifying information to her sister, Tataneisha White, to use in filing false tax returns claiming fraudulent refunds.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 29, 2017 before the Honorable Robert E. Jones. Brown faces a statutory minimum sentence of 24 months in prison, a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. In addition, she agreed to pay $2,500 in restitution to Central City Concern to reimburse the non-profit organization for costs incurred as a result of her identity theft.  White is currently serving a 37-month prison sentence following her October 2015 guilty plea to conspiracy to file false claims, filing a false claim and theft of government funds. White admitted that she and her co-conspirators, Lori Nicholson, Jasmine Mason, Shawntina Ware and Brandon Leath prepared and filed 227 false income tax returns that claimed a total of more than $1 million in fraudulent refunds.  Nicholson pleaded guilty on Nov. 8 and is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 22, 2017.  Mason pleaded guilty and was sentenced to serve more than two years in prison.  Ware pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on February 1, 2017.  Leath pleaded guilty and was sentenced to serve 24 months in prison.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorney Lori A. Hendrickson and former Trial Attorney Ryan Raybould of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case. Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo also thanked the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon for their substantial assistance.

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