Birmingham man pleads guilty to stealing prisoners’ IDs, filing $2.5 million in false returns

Published 11:35am Monday, October 28, 2013

A Birmingham man faces a maximum sentence of 22 years in jail after devising a scheme to use the identification of state prisoners to file more than 2,000 false state and federal income tax returns netting more than $2.5 million in returns.

Harvey James pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft last week for his role in the stolen identity refund fraud scheme.

James as well as his sister Jacqueline Slaton had the returns sent to mailboxes in Millbrook and Montgomery between 2010 and 2012.

James and Slaton had the false returns sent to either prepaid debit cards or had a check issued.

In 2012 James and Slaton enlisted the help of a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier to be part of the scheme.

Vernon Harrison provided James and Slaton mailing addresses where the debit cards could be sent and later retrieved and delivered to James and Slaton in exchange for payment.

Slaton pleaded guilty to her part in the scheme and was sentenced to 70 months in prison.

In July Harrison was found guilty by jury and will be sentenced on Thursday.

Harvey’s sentencing date has not yet been set.

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