La Plata Woman 1 of 3 Indicted for Scamming IRS Out of $365.6K

BALTIMORE (April 1, 2008) - A federal grand jury has indicted Giacumo Marzano, age 66, of Baltimore; Karen Woodard, age 42, of Suitland, Maryland; and Melanie Taylor, age 34, of La Plata, Maryland, on fraud and identity theft charges in connection with a scheme to file false income tax returns using the names and social security numbers of inmates from the Maryland Department of Corrections and other prisons, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. The indictment was returned on March 25, 2008.

According to the 10 count indictment, from 2004 to 2007, Marzano supplied inmates of the Maryland Division of Correction with income tax forms. Marzano coordinated with Woodard and Taylor to mail, receive and cash the inmate’s tax refunds. Marzano and Taylor opened bank accounts for inmates to facilitate cashing the tax refund checks. Marzano also opened a post office box which received money orders from the proceeds of the fictitious tax refunds. After taking part of the refunds for themselves, Woodard and Taylor sent the remainder of the refunds to Marzano, the inmates and others. To hide the scheme and their true identities, the defendants often used fake names.

According to the indictment, the scheme involved over 101 fictitious inmate tax returns with claims totaling $365,599.41.

Each of the defendants faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for conspiracy to defraud the United States and 20 years in prison for mail fraud. Marzano also faces a maximum of 15 years in prison for producing false identification documents, and a mandatory two years in prison for aggravated identity theft, consecutive to any other sentence imposed. The defendants are scheduled to have their initial appearances in federal district court at 3:00 p.m. today.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

Source: United States Attorney for the District of Maryland, Rod J. Rosenstein

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