United States Attorney Pamela C. Marsh announced that the Honorable Richard Smoak sentenced Versiah M. Taylor, 33, of Panama City, Florida, to 264 months in federal prison and Tracy L. Collier, 48, of Panama City, Florida, to 164 months in federal prison for filing fraudulent tax returns using the personal identifying information (PII) of other individuals.
Between September 9, 2011, and August 15, 2012, the defendants prepared and filed fraudulent tax returns seeking more than $500,000 in refunds. The defendants used the PII of inmates of the Florida Department of Corrections, Bay County residents, and others to file fraudulent income tax returns.
Collier, who was incarcerated during the conspiracy, provided the personal information of inmates by disguising the social security numbers and dates of birth as legal case citations and mailed them to Taylor. Taylor, operating out of a small office that he rented in the Steele Boys Bail Bond’s Plaza in Panama City, orchestrated the filing of multiple tax returns creating false employment information and using the PII of other individuals. These returns each claimed fraudulent refunds between $3,000 and $9,530 and were to be deposited onto prepaid debit cards, which were then mailed to various locations throughout Bay County, Florida.
Taylor was also sentenced to serve a 3-year term of supervised release and ordered to pay $107,422 in restitution and a $4,500 special monetary assessment. Collier was also sentenced to serve a 3-year term of supervised release and ordered to pay $107,422 in restitution and a $2,200 special monetary assessment.
This conviction results from an investigation by agents of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Katy Risinger.