Alabama woman convicted of stolen identity refund fraud - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Alabama woman convicted of stolen identity refund fraud

(Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)

Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ronald A. Cimino of the Justice Department's Tax Division, and U.S. Attorney George L. Beck Jr. for the Middle District of Alabama announced Friday that a Dothan woman has been found guilty of conspiring to defraud the government through the filing of false tax returns.

32-year-old Nina Macena is being found guilty of three counts of aggravated identity theft and three counts of wire fraud. She is said to have provided stolen identities to Ivory Bolen, also of Dothan, who used those identities to file false tax returns that fraudulently requested refunds from the government according to evidence from the trial.

Bolen attempted to have the refunds deposited onto prepaid debit cards, and mail them to addresses controlled by Bolen and Macena. Macena was able to obtain the identities from Roderick Neal, a former bail bondsman of Dothan, who had access to the personal information of individuals being detained at the Dothan City Jail. Bolen and Neal plead guilty to their involvement in the scheme.

Evidence shows that Bolen called Macena on several occasions, acting at the direction of law enforcement, asking her to obtain more identities. Macena agreed to getting more by way of a 'friend' at 'the bonding company.' She also admitted to stealing identities in a storage unit during the calls.

Federal agents executed a search warrant at Macena's storage unit and seized stolen identities and prepaid debit cards in the name of the others involved. It was found that Bolen filed and claimed more than $300,00 in refunds using the stolen identities provided by Macena.

Macena testified on her own behalf at trial, where she admitted she had obtained information from Neal and Bolen, but claimed that she was unaware of the nature in which the information would be used. She also stated that she stored items in her storage unit for Bolen, but that she didn't know what she was storing.

Macena was convicted on all counts in the indictment. She faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the three wired fraud conspiracy count, a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the three wire fraud convictions and mandatory sentence of two years in prison for the aggravated identity theft convictions.

The actual sentence will be decided by a federal judge after considering the federal sentencing guideline and statutory sentencing factor.

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