Kentucky IRS Employee, Florida Man Accused of Stealing Identities, Other Crimes

Kentucky IRS Employee, Florida Man Accused of Stealing Identities, Other Crimes

A financial technician, employed in a Boone County, Kentucky office of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), has been charged with multiple crimes relating to her unauthorized access of an IRS computer, to obtain personal information about tax payers.

On July 18, 2013, a federal grand jury returned a sealed indictment against Joy Fox, 32, of Independence, Ky. The indictment, which was unsealed Thursday, charges Fox with eight counts of intentionally exceeding her authorized access to an IRS computer, for the purpose of improperly obtaining personal identifying information of tax payers. She is also charged with three counts of mail fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft in relation to the mail fraud.

According to the indictment, another individual, Patrick Sharpe, 23, of Tallahassee, Fla., was charged as a co-defendant in the case. Sharpe and Fox allegedly used the personal identifying information of tax payers to obtain online prepaid debit cards, in tax payers’ names, and then attempted to fund the cards using the tax payers’ social security benefits. Once the cards were approved, the defendants caused the cards to be mailed to addresses in Kentucky. Fox and Sharpe are also charged with conspiracy to file a false claim for a tax refund.

Fox appeared in court Thursday, while Sharpe is scheduled to appear on August 14, 2013. The court has scheduled trial for September 23, 2013. The mail fraud charges carry a maximum of 20 years imprisonment; the exceeding authorized access charges carry a maximum of 5 years imprisonment; the aggravated identity theft charges carry two years imprisonment, which must run consecutively to any other sentence imposed; and the filing a false claim for refund charge carries a maximum of 10 years imprisonment. The defendants could also be fined a maximum of $250,000.

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