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Baton Rouge Resident Guilty for Stealing Federal Dollars in Tax Refund Scheme

United States Attorney Walt Green announced that on Wednesday, August 31, 2016, Laguardia Coston, age 29,of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Hames. J. Brady to theft of governmental funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641.During a December 2015 guilty please hearing, Coston admitted to preparing and filing numerous fraudulent tax returns using stolen personal identifiers, such as names and social security numbers, of 73 separate victims, and, in doing so, stole $102,000 in tax refunds from the U.S. treasury.

After hearing evidence during the sentencing hearing, Judge Brady sentenced Coston to a term of imprisonment of 33 months, a 3 years term of supervised release, forfeiture of $102,000 and restitution to the U.S. Treasury of $102,000. After serving the adjudged term of imprisonment, Coston will be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office to ensure that she abides by certain conditions imposed by Judge Brady designed to ensure that she embarks on a crime-free path.

U.S. Attorney Green stated: “This case exemplifies the importance of our office working in concert with the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI) to ensure that individuals that use the stolen identities of others and defraud the United States face justice they deserve. We look forward to continuing our work with IRC-CI and other investigative agencies in the fight to deter both ongoing criminal conduct along with similar criminal conduct considered by others.”