A 28-year-old California woman, who was convicted last summer in a San Francisco federal court for filing $656,000 in false tax returns, was caught at an high-end Waikiki store after making purchases using a fraudulent credit card.
Ebony Standifer was charged Friday with second-degree identity theft, two counts second-degree theft and unauthorized possession of confidential personal information. Her bail was set at $200,000. She is currently being held at Oahu Community Correctional Center awaiting arraignment in Circuit Court Thursday.
Police said the suspect was one of two women who purchased items from the Louis Vuitton store Wednesday using credit cards that that employees later discovered were fraudulent. Police said the women each purchased items using seprate fraudulent credit cards.
Standifer was arrested when she returned to the store the same day, and was detained by security until police arrived. All of the merchandise was recovered and returned to the store. The other suspect is still at large.
Local authorities believe Standifer also is facing criminal charges in California and Nevada.
In August, Standifer, under a plea agreement, admitted that she conspired with others to file false federal income tax returns from 2010 through 2012, according to the U.S. Attorney for Northern California.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco said as part of the scheme, individuals with whom Standifer conspired provided her with names of people for whom to file false tax returns. Standifer used those identities and filed returns without showing the documents to the people listed on them. In addition to inserting the person’s name and Social Security number, Standifer made up figures for income and the amount of taxes that were withheld
Standifer filed the false returns electronically from various locations and kept notebooks that recorded information regarding the people whose identity she misappropriated. The information she recorded included the victim’s name, Social Security number, the amount of the false tax refund that she claimed.
Standifer requested that the IRS deposit the fraudulent tax refund onto pre-paid debit cards that she could access. In total, during 2010-2012, Standifer filed or assisted in filing false tax returns in the aggregate amount of $656,000 for the 2009-2011 tax years. Of that amount, the IRS actually paid fraudulent claims in the amount of $193,602.
The U. S. Attorney’s office said that the suspect will be sentenced March 6 in San Francisco and was out on bail.
Standifer requested and was granted permission while out on bail to travel from California to Nevada in November to accompany her son. However, no request to travel to Hawaii was requested by the suspect, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.