CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A Beachwood mother and daughter have been accused of stealing identities of more than a dozen people and filing false tax returns.
According to a the US Attorney 40-year-old Aesha Johnson and 23-year-old Brittany Williams were each indicted on:
- conspiracy to commit wire fraud (one count)
- wire fraud (14 counts)
- aggravated identity theft (14 counts)
Prosecutors said when Williams and Johnson conspired together to use the stolen identities to file false tax returns with the IRS, seeking tax refunds.
The US Attorney said Johnson acquired many of these identities through a previous criminal fraud scheme.
The mom and daughter used an address associated with the family on East 142nd Street in Cleveland as the address of record for many of the false tax returns, according to the US Attorney.
Prosecutors said the suspects often communicated with each other using a code that referred to the victims using numbers 1-31.
The US Attorney said Williams and Johnson created and used fictitious email accounts in the names of victims to communicate with the IRS.
The daughter filed false tax returns online and obtained prepaid debit cards in the names of the identity theft victims, according to the US Attorney.
Prosecutors said the suspects requested the IRS deposit the refunds onto those cards.
The US Attorney said the daughter would withdraw cash or make purchases with the cards.