A 39-year-old Melissa woman was recently sentenced to federal prison for violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown.

Demetrice Hodges pleaded guilty on May 10, 2018, to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft charges related to an income tax fraud scheme. Hodges was sentenced to 65 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant on Jan. 24. Hodges was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $343,824.59 to the Internal Revenue Service and ordered to forfeit $8,000 as proceeds of the wire fraud conviction.

According to information presented in court in 2016, Hodges was involved in a scheme to defraud individuals by conspiring with others to obtain money and property by false pretenses. As part of the scheme, Hodges coordinated with another individual in purchasing personal identifying information that was used to electronically file income tax returns using the stolen identifiers. Hodges was indicted by a federal grand jury on Sept. 13, 2017.

“Income tax fraud and identity theft cause great financial harm to the U.S. Treasury and significant personal harm to individuals and their financial and credit status,” Brown said. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service are dedicated to investigating and vigorously prosecuting cases in which individuals steal the identity of innocent victims, including the identities of both adults and children, and commit fraud against the Internal Revenue Service and the United States Treasury.”

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Gibson.