Gibsonton woman sentenced for identity theft

TAMPA — A judge sentenced a Gibsonton woman to federal prison Friday after she pleaded guilty to using stolen identities to collect more than $43,000 in fraudulent tax returns, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Authorities said Bernadette Demps, 41, filed bogus tax returns using stolen identities, then received more than $43,000 in income tax refund checks in other people’s names into a business bank account she controlled. She then quickly withdrew the funds, authorities said.

Demps was sentenced to two years in prison for aggravated identity theft, and was ordered to pay $34,000 to the IRS. She pleaded guilty on April 25.

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