Two men sentenced for fraud, identity theft

PANAMA CITY — 
Two

Panama City
men who impersonated inmates in fraud schemes totaling more than $500,000 became inmates Thursday.

Versiah M. Taylor, 33, will spend 22 years in federal prison and Tracy L. Collier, 48, will spend more than 13 years in federal prison for filing fraudulent tax returns using the personal identifying information (PII) of other individuals, following a federal judge’s decision Thursday.

Between September 2011 and August 2012, the men prepared and filed fraudulent tax returns seeking more than $500,000 in refunds. They used the PII of inmates of the Florida Department of Corrections,

Bay

County
residents and others to file fraudulent income tax returns.

Collier, who was incarcerated during the conspiracy, provided the personal information of inmates by disguising the Social Security numbers and dates of birth as legal case citations and mailed them to

Taylor
.

Taylor
, operating out of a small office in

Panama City
, orchestrated the filing of multiple tax returns creating false employment information and using the PII of other individuals.

These returns each claimed fraudulent refunds between $3,000 and $9,530 and were to be deposited onto prepaid debit cards, which were then mailed to various locations throughout

Bay

County
.

In addition to their prison stints,

Taylor
was sentenced to serve a three-year term of supervised release and ordered to pay $107,422 in restitution and a $4,500 special monetary assessment; and Collier was sentenced to serve a three-year term of supervised release and ordered to pay $107,422 in restitution and a $2,200 special monetary assessment. 

Article source: http://www.newsherald.com/news/crime-public-safety/two-men-sentenced-for-fraud-identity-theft-1.329079

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