From The Tribune staff reports
BIRMINGHAM — A Birmingham woman was sentenced to 15 years in prison for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and intimidating a witness.
Quincetta Yvonne Cargill, 48, represented herself and testified in court during the trial. U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor also ordered Cargill to pay $1,096, 668.68 in restitution.
U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona said Cargill was convicted in February and sentenced in September.
“There is zero tolerance for those who commit identity theft and fraud for their own greed,” Escalona said. “Cargill’s actions were met today with just punishment.”
Prosecutors used witness testimony, bank records and IRS tax returned to prove that Cargill used identities of individuals to submit information she told them was for a federal grant program, according to Escalona. But instead of applying for a grant, Escalona said Cargill used the information to file fraudulent tax returns.
“Cargill then directed others to open bank accounts, and used her own bank accounts, to receive tax refund checks from those fraudulently filed returns,” Escalona added. “In total, Cargill and her co-conspirators obtained more than $1 million from refunds from fraudulent tax returns.”
Prosecutors also said Cargill tried to intimidate a witness by sending their information to members of a motorcycle club “in order to influence or prevent that witness from testifying at trial.”
IRS-Criminal Investigations Atlanta Field Division Special Agent in Charge James Dorsey said the case highlights the importance of prosecuting identity theft cases.
“We will continue to pursue criminals who prey on innocent victims and we will continue to enforce our nation’s tax laws,” said Dorsey. “Today’s sentencing should send a clear message to would-be criminals, you will be caught and you will be punished.”
IRS-CID investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison Garnett and Blake Milner prosecuted the case.