Income tax identity theft indictments - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson residents indicted for identity theft

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Hundreds of thousands of dollars went into the hands of seven people. Now, they all face federal identity theft charges.

Three Jackson residents, Alicia Haslett, 30, Rickey McDuffey, 36, and Johnny Coleman, 54, each face a seven count indictment. The group is accused of stealing $270,000 from the government.

Christopher Johnson, of Hattiesburg, is facing a 12 count indictment. Eric Sutton faces a 15 count indictment.

They are all charged with conspiracy, theft of government funds, and aggravated identity theft. The cases are related, according to U.S. Attorney Greg Davis.

In a separate case, Erica Porter, 30, of Jackson, and Obadiah Herring of Terry face a 16 count indictment. They are also indicted for conspiracy, theft of government funds, and aggravated identity theft.

Davis says most of the victims were low-income, some were in prison or even hospitals.

"They were not eligible based on their income; elderly people, students, or disabled, and in other cases it has been people who actually were wage earners that filed returns, but they filed their return after the criminals who decided to take advantage of that early filing," explained Davis.

Mississippi ranks 12th nationally with identity theft complaints. Davis says everyone should protect their personal information and file tax returns early.

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