Three Jackson residents sentenced in million-dollar fraud

Credit: Pexels.com
Credit: Pexels.com

DETROIT – The third and final defendant in an identity theft scheme involving fraudulent student loan application and tax returns has been sentenced.

Katrina Duling received one day in custody followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $775,312.

According to court records, in December 2014, defendants Timothy Wilcox, Paul Adams and Duling participated a scheme by which they took personal identifying information, including their Social Security numbers or recruited other individuals to provide this information to them, which they used to fraudulently apply for and receive federal student financial aid in the name of those individuals. The defendants did not intend to use nor did they use the funds obtained for educational purposes as represented in the fraudulent applications. Additionally, the defendants used the same personal information to file false federal income tax returns to claim and receive federal income tax refunds.

The defendants utilized information from more than 100 people to defraud the United States Department of Education for more than $1 million and more than $400,000 from the IRS through fraudulent tax returns. 

"Student loan programs are intended to assist students in obtaining a higher education and scams like this harm both students and taxpayers," said U.S. States Attorney Matthew Schneider.

Wilcox and Adams were sentenced to 77 months and 15 months, respectively, and were ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,390,50 all to be paid to the Department of Education as well as the Internal Revenue Service.