A 59-year-old Baton Rouge woman was sentenced Thursday to a year in prison and ordered to pay more than $117,000 in restitution for a tax scheme involving homebuyer credits, U.S. Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux Jr. said.
Brenda Matthews pleaded guilty in October to making false claims to a U.S. agency and two counts of identity theft, Cazayoux said in a prepared statement.
Matthews admitted filing 20 tax returns in 2009 for the 2008 tax year fraudulently claiming refunds based on First Time Homebuyer Credits. The returns prepared by Matthews listed the names and Social Security numbers of others who had allegedly purchased homes, but the homes had not been bought, Cazayoux said.
In some instances, he said, Matthews used the Social Security numbers of people who did not know their identities were being used to file fraudulent tax returns. The fraudulent returns, which reported the taxpayers as having no income, generated refunds of more than $117,000, he added.