A former employee of D.C.'s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services was sentenced to four years in prison for stealing the identities of young people in order to file false income tax returns.
Marc A. Bell, 49, of Bowie, Maryland, worked as a program manager, program officer and placement expeditor from 2005 to 2013 at DYRS, which provides supervision, cutody and care for youth charged with delinquent acts. He admitted getting the personal information of at least then-current and former DYRS youth from the agency's database between 2010 and 2013 and giving it to others, who used the names and Social Security numbers to filed more than 1,000 tax returns claiming $4,441,194 in refunds, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The IRS issued checks totaling $2,422,211 in the names of the youth.
“Mr. Bell has caused immeasurable harm to the financial well-being of the youth whose identities he stole,” Special Agent in Charge Thomas Jankowski said after Bell pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims, aiding and abetting in the filing of fictitious or false claims, and aiding and abetting fraud and related activity in connection with identification documents.
U.S. District Judge Ellen S. Huvelle also ordered Bell serve three years of supervised release and pay the IRS $1,972,710 in restitution, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
About 20 people participated in the scheme, the U.S. Attorney's Office said, including 40-year-old Lakisha Jackson, of District Heights, Maryland, who pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to commit theft of public money. She admitted allowing her address be used to file about 70 false tax returns claiming $229,199 from 2010 to 2012. The U.S. Treasury issued 61 checks totaling $193,977, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Jackson agreed to pay the IRS $175,953 in restitution. She faces a maximum five years in prison and a $250,000 fine at sentencing in July.