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Girl Scout IDs used in tax scheme

A former Pensacola, Fla., Girl Scout leader has been charged with tax fraud for allegedly filing 19 fictitious tax claims.

Girl_scouts_shortbread_cookie_2_3 The kicker: Many of the false claims, according to court documents, involved the stolen identities of nearly a dozen young troop members, ages 8 to 12.

Federal prosecutors say Holly M. Barnes obtained the girls' personal data from their parents by asking for it on a fake medical release.

A federal grand jury on Tuesday indicted Barnes on 19 counts of filing fictitious tax claims and 15 counts of identity theft. The indictment alleges that Barnes' filed false claims for more than $187,000 and netted more than $87,000 for her efforts.

Her trial is scheduled to start Nov. 5. If convicted, each count of filing a false IRS claim carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Each identity theft count carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

More on the charges, and reactions of readers, can be found in this Pensacola News Journal article.


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