BR woman sentenced in identity theft case; pay $491,000 restitution

A 32-year-old Baton Rouge woman was sentenced to just under 5½ years in federal prison for filing false tax returns with stolen identities, U.S. Attorney Walt Green said Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick also ordered Mona R. Hill to pay the Internal Revenue Service more than $491,000 in restitution on Wednesday, Green said.

“This sentence should send a clear message that identity theft will not be tolerated,” Green said. “Our office will continue to aggressively pursue and prosecute those who would steal other individuals’ identities and submit false tax returns in an effort to line their pockets.”

Hill pleaded guilty last year to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft and admitted she schemed to defraud the IRS by submitting nearly 500 false tax returns in the names of other individuals for the purpose of receiving thousands of dollars in tax refunds.

The returns Hill submitted falsely represented that the individuals had worked for various companies during 2011 and were eligible for income tax refunds.

In fact, Green said, the individuals had not worked for or earned wages from the companies reflected in the fraudulent tax returns, nor had they authorized Hill to submit any such returns on their behalf.

The IRS Criminal Investigations Division conducted the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Shubhra Shivpuri prosecuted the case.