Establishing Digital Trust: Don't Sacrifice Security for Convenience
Rakecia Matrese Brame recently pled guilty to one count of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of aiding and assisting the preparation of a false tax return in connection with an identity theft scheme.
From approximately February 2009 to February 2011, Brame worked as a social worker at North Carolina's Alamance County Department of Social Services (Alamance DSS), where she had access as part of her job to clients' names, birthdates and Social Security numbers.
Brame used that access to obtain and sell Alamance DSS clients' personal information to Jennifer Bullock and Saichelle McNeill for $200 to $300 each. Bullock and McNeill then used the data to claim false dependents on tax returns they prepared for clients at their tax preparation firm, Nothing But Taxes.
In one example, a client was referred to Alamance DSS for investigation on or about February 15, 2010, and assigned to Brame. Soon after, Brame sold the client's identity to Bullock. On or about March 3, 2010, Bullock filed a 2009 tax return for a Nothing But Taxes client that falsely claimed the Alamance DSS client as a dependent.https://o1.qnsr.com/log/p.gif?;n=203;c=204650394;s=9477;x=7936;f=201801171506010;u=j;z=TIMESTAMP;a=20392931;e=i
About a year later, Brame sold the same victim's identity to McNeill, who filed a 2010 tax return for a different Nothing But Taxes client claiming the victim as a dependent.
McNeill was sentenced to 27 months in prison on August 20, 2013. Bullock pleaded guilty to wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and tax charges on December 4, 2013, and is currently awaiting sentencing.
Brame faces up to 25 years in prison.