- Associated Press - Friday, December 4, 2015

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - A St. Landry Parish couple pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing the identities of customers of an Opelousas tax preparation business to pocket their income tax returns.

U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley said in a news release 36-year-old Francis Owens, an employee at Dee’s Tax Service, and her boyfriend, 33-year-old Kevin White, both from Washington, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count each of identity theft,

Finley says Owens worked as a tax preparer who crafted false 2012 returns for at least two people who did not know of her efforts. Owens had the IRS sent the checks to the business, not the victims’ homes.

She says the defendants, who together stole more than $10,000, face up to 15 years in federal prison.

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