Pair Sentenced for Submitting 179 Fraudulent Tax Returns

HOUSTON – A Houston man has been ordered to prison following his  convictions of theft of government money and aggravated identity theft.

Eric W. King, 49, of Houston, and Theresa K. Goffney, 46, of Rosharon, pleaded guilty May 29 and July 9, 2018, respectively. The court found the defendants submitted a total of 179 fraudulent tax returns requesting refunds in the amount of $888,261, according to U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick and Special Agent in Charge D. Richard Goss of IRS – Criminal Investigation.

Today, U.S. District Judge Nancy F. Atlas imposed a 65-month total sentence for King – 41 months for the conspiracy and a consecutive 24 months for the identity theft. He was further ordered to serve three years of supervised release following his sentence and must pay $29,264 in restitution.

Co-defendant Goffney will be sentenced Friday, March 15.

The defendants admitted they unlawfully acquired the personal identifying information (PII) of others such as name, date of birth, Social Security number and address. They then used the unlawfully acquired PII to file fraudulent tax returns in the victims’ names.

The fraudulent tax returns requested the IRS refund to be directed to bank accounts the conspirators opened and controlled, checks mailed to addresses conspirators controlled or be loaded onto prepaid debit cards they had purchased.

King was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

IRS – CI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Hileman is prosecuting the case.

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