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Social Worker Sells Client Identities
January 15, 2014 permalink
Rakecia Matrese Brame was a North Carolina social worker responsible for investigating claims of abuse and neglect against minors and disabled adults. She took the personal information she gathered about clients and sold it to professional tax preparers. The article is not specific about how the information was used, but it appears to be the long-standing racket of filing for a tax refund payable to another person.
Former Greensboro Social Worker Pleads Guilty To Identity Theft, Tax Crimes
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A social worker, originally from Greensboro, plead guilty to identity theft and tax crimes Friday, according to the Department of Justice.
The IRS announced Monday that Rakecia Matrese Brame, plead guilty Friday to one count of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, and one count of aiding and assisting the preparation of a false tax return.
According to court documents, Brame worked as a social worker at the Alamance County Department of Social Services from February 2009 to February 2011. Brame was responsible for investigating claims of abuse and neglect against minors and disabled adults.
The DOJ says she had authorized access to extensive identifying information-including names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers of Alamance DSS clients. The department says this information included abuse victims,recipients of various state benefits, and witnesses in official investigations.
Court documents say Brame used her access of information contained in Alamance DSS records to illegally obtain the personal information of Alamance DSS clients and others. Documents also revealed she then sold the information to two return preparers at the Greensboro branch of Nothing But taxes, a tax return preparation firm. The two preparers then used the stolen identities to claim false dependents on tax returns they prepared for Nothing But Taxes clients, thereby claiming inflated tax refunds on the clients' behalf.
Court documents reveal the two preparers, Saichelle McNeill and Jennifer Bullock paid Brame $200 to $300 per identity they purchased and Brame knowingly sold these identities to them to be used for tax fraud.
Brame faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison on the wire fraud charge and a maximum of 3 years in prison for the charge of aiding and assisting the preparation of a false tax return. The aggravated identity theft charge carries a mandatory 2 year sentence.
The related case against Saichelle McNeill resulted in a guilty plea to federal criminal charges of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns.
McNeill was sentenced to serve 27 months in federal prison on August 20, 2013.
Jennifer Bullock pleaded guilty to wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and tax charges on December 4, 2013 and is currently awaiting sentencing.
The Department of Justice says this case and related Nothing But Taxes cases were investigated by agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigation.
The Department of Justice, WFMY News 2