WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - An Alabama state employee pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of conspiring to defraud the United States by filing false claims, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, the Department of Justice announced.
According to the DOJ, Natacia Webster obtained identity information during her employment during 2011 and provided that information to co-conspirator Melinda Clayton.
Webster allegedly received money from Clayton in exchange for the stolen identities. Clayton used these to file false tax returns that claimed fraudulent tax refunds. The refunds were allegedly directed to bank accounts and debit cards controlled by the conspirators.
Clayton pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 61 months in prison.
Webster faces a minimum of two years in prison, a maximum of 32 years in prison, three years of supervised release, restitution and a maximum fine of $750,000 or twice the loss caused by the offense, DOJ said.