Twin Tiers Residents Involved in Cross-Country IRS Scam
A man from Tioga County, New York, a Northeast Pennsylvania man and a Texas woman are accused of trying to obtain confidential tax information from the Internal Revenue Service.
Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s office say 53-year-old Stephen Mockler of Waverly, 40-year-old Andrew Panessa of Lake Ariel in Wayne County, Pennsylvania and 52-year-old Sabrina Scott of Granbury Texas have plead guilty to charges related to their roles in a scheme to get personal identifying information from the IRS.
The United States Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration says the three admitted that while Scott was working for a private investigation firm in Texas, she provided the other two with personal information like social security numbers for people who were being investigated by the firm.
Mockler called the IRS and used the social security numbers to impersonate the taxpayer, answer the IRS security questions and learn information about the taxpayer that they reported back to the security firm that they sold back to the victimized taxpayer.
Mockler and Pennessa face up to 20 years in prison for each count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud, five years for misuse of a social security number and two years for aggravated identity theft.
Scott faces a maximum of five years for conspiracy to misuse social security numbers.