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Area woman charged with identity theft after filing taxes

It is that time of year again. St. Louis residents are rushing to file their annual tax returns before the deadline. While the process of filing a return is not a welcomed occasion for many, the thought of an audit can be even worse. Yet, even an audit does not compare to being charged with tax fraud or other charges involving white collar crime.

This was the case recently for an area woman,, a mother of three, who was charged with making false statements to the Internal Revenue Service and aggravated identity theft. According to the government's allegations, the woman used her computer to file false tax returns for a few years. The charges, which were part of a 12-count indictment, also claim the woman falsified certain expenses and forms. It remains to be seen how the case will be resolved, as the woman has pleaded not guilty.

When dealing with white collar crimes, there can be a variety of state and federal laws that apply. Since violations of these laws can carry severe penalties, including prison and large fines, it is essential that accused individuals understand the nature of the charges against them and how to best defend against them.

For example, identity theft charges usually involve using another person's identifying information for financial gain. Congress has created new offenses related to identity theft, in addition to state charges that may apply. As a result, individuals should understand the differences between these laws, because the different laws require the government to prove different elements.

A St. Louis attorney can help an individual accused of a white collar crime fight the charges he or she faces. A strong legal defense will force the prosecution to prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a high bar to pass and may result in an acquittal or reduced charges.

Source: News Observer, "Woman accused of getting $1M through tax scheme," Mar. 24, 2014

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