PEN – 8/25/17 – Michael Hearns, 55, of El Dorado, AR pleaded guilty Aug. 16 to conspiracy to defraud the United States, Kenneth Elser, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, said in a news release.
Former El Dorado, AR USPS letter carrier Michael Hearns, 55, entered a guilty plea of conspiring, with others, to defraud the United States government.
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, Hearns was a mail carrier with the U.S. Postal Service when, from January 2010 to December 2012, he conspired with Venus Ford, Whitney Charles and others to fraudulently obtain money from the federal government by filing false federal income tax returns in the names of others without their knowledge or consent.
Apparently Hearns provided addresses from his postal route to the others implicated in this case. The addresses were used to file fraudulent tax returns where refunds checks were mailed. Hearns collected these tax refund checks when mailed and provided them to Ford, Charles and others for a fee, according to the U.S. Attorney release.
Ford and Charles have pleaded guilty, along with Hearns, and are awaiting sentencing.
Co-defendants include Shawn D. Carey, Clarisse Carey, Erica Browning, Gregory Taylor, Ecko Scott and Sanjana Aaron, all of whom were sentenced in January 2016 and June to a total of more than 16 years imprisonment.
Source: Arkansas Online and U.S. Attorney – Western District of Arkansas