Women Who Stole IDs To File Fake Tax Returns Sentenced

HAMMOND, Ind. (STMW) – A federal judge said he wouldn’t be surprised if two women were responsible for the loss of more than $1 million in their tax return fraud scheme but decided to sentence them to 41 months each because of their cooperation.

U.S. District Judge Philip Simon said during the sentencing hearing at the U.S. District Court in Hammond for Rosetta Yvonne Buchanan, 36, and Francesca Foster, 33, that their crimes were “breathtaking,” stealing the identities of about 260 people and using them to file for their tax returns. He called the crime of identity theft a serious one that couldn’t be overstated.

“It’s just a nightmare for people, a total nightmare,” he said.

However, he said he reluctantly agreed to go below the 57 to 71 months recommended for both women by federal guidelines because Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Collins had spoken so highly of their cooperation in the case.

Collins said during Foster’s sentencing that the defendant had not only agreed to plead guilty to the crime but had also turned over jewelry and other property to recover the losses from her crime.

Foster confessed in December to using her position at an H&R Block in East Chicago to get access to clients’ personal information. She and Buchanan then used that to file for the tax returns before the clients filed.

Foster apologized to H&R Block for hurting its reputation and to the victims.

“They do not deserve my deceit,” she said.

Police first learned of the fraud scheme when people started reporting that someone else had done their tax returns. However, they didn’t connect Foster and Buchanan to the scheme until a police officer in Highland pulled them over on a traffic violation. He found about 100 debit cards in the car, along with other personal identity information, according to records.

Simon did not sentence the women to pay restitution, citing the IRS’s authority to collect its own money.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • tom sharp

    I wonder what the judge will sentence them to the next they get caught (about 4 years from now).

  • Taxpayer 2

    Seem to be true, the system is ran by satin (demonic spirits) who give people just enough jail time to commit more crimes in the future. I know that that judicial system is unfair with a lot of the laws that is on the books. The police know it. The people (citizens) know it. And the criminals know it too.

    When it is time to vote I need to know about these judges background who are trying to get elect to office. Quite a few of them seem be controlled by demonic forces. Not the television stuff, but the real stuff that is mention in the bible.

    Get real and be more like God. Be true. Get feelings out of it. God bless these type of judges that allow satin to use them from time to time.

    • Durrrr

      It’s SATAN, not satin….dummy. Are we talking about prom dresses here?

      • XPHALCON

        I think taxpayer2 was referring to his/her underwear.

      • ucity88

        HAIL SATIN! And muslin and tulle…

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