Barbara Murry, Douglas Murry, Douglas Murry III, Yolanda Moses, Lee Moses, Veronica Temple, Jeffrey Temple, Almetta Johnson and Courtney Johnson were charged in an indictment by a federal grand jury in the Middle District of Alabama on a variety of counts stemming from an alleged identity theft and tax fraud scheme, according to the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The 33-count indictment charges all nine with conspiring to defraud the United States and to commit theft of public funds and with theft of public funds. Barbara Murry, Yolanda Moses and Veronica Temple are also charged with aggravated identity theft. The indictment was unsealed last Friday, May 4.

According to the indictment, all of the individuals are related to each other. Barbara Murry owned and operated B&B Weaving Shop, located in Montgomery, Alabama. B&B Weaving Shop was located in the same building as B&B Tax Service. Barbara Murry’s daughter, Yolanda Moses, owned and operated B&B Tax Service. Between 2006 and 2012, Barbara Murry, Yolanda Moses and Veronica Temple allegedly filed false federal income tax returns with stolen identities and had refunds directly deposited into the bank accounts of their family members and others. According to the government, the bank accounts received at least $1.3 million in false tax refunds.

The specific instances of conduct included in the indictment are limited to deposits made in late 2011, and a majority of the deposits are in the amount of $1,400. This seems to be an odd time of the year to receive tax refunds. Further, the indictment alleges that the conspiracy was ongoing since approximately 2006, yet the deposits all take place in 2011. An indictment does not have to provide specific details of the circumstances giving rise to the case, but an individual has the right to be put on fair notice of the charges against them. The government is either being overly inclusive in the indictment regarding the dates of the alleged conspiracy, or the indictment fails to include everything.

Unfortunately, the indictment does not discuss in detail the government’s theory of the case and fails to connect the dots between the allegations and counts contained therein. The indictment only gives a cursory overview of the alleged scheme but manages to accuse nine family members of conspiring to defraud the IRS by means of identity theft. As this case continues, it will be interesting to hear the government’s foundation for the alleged conspiracy of fraud and identity theft.

The author of this blog is Erich Ferrari, an attorney specializing in Federal Criminal Defense matters. If you have any questions please contact him at 202-280-6370 or ferrari@ferrari-legal.com.

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