- Associated Press - Thursday, May 19, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A Hammond woman has been sentenced to three years in prison for a multi-year tax fraud scheme.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite (poh-LEET’) says in a news release that 28-year-old Raven Hughes had pleaded guilty to mail fraud and aggravated identity theft prior to Wednesday’s sentencing. In addition to prison time, Hughes must pay more than $119,000 to the Internal Revenue Service.

Prosecutors said Hughes obtained names and social security numbers from unsuspecting people and used them to file phony tax returns, claiming large refunds. Refund checks were mailed to post office boxes Hughes opened around Louisiana, as well as to her home. She also had refunds electronically sent to one of her bank accounts.

Polite’s news release said the scheme was carried out between 2009 and 2012.

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