Pepper Pike woman indicted for nearly $500k in ID theft and tax fraud

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

PEPPER PIKE – Ghana Johnson, 45, was indicted on one count of wire fraud, five counts of filing false claims for income tax refunds and five counts of aggravated identity theft.

She attempted to claim $476,000 in fraudulent tax refunds, according to Steven M. Dettelbach, US Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio and Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation from the Cincinnati Field Office.

According to the indictment, Johnson used stolen identification, with names and social security numbers to file 106 false tax returns for the tax years of 2010 and 2011.

She allegedly filed those returns in her name and others, claiming $476,503 in refunds and requested that those refunds be deposited onto prepaid debit cards.

“Investigating refund fraud and identity theft is a priority for IRS Criminal Investigation,” Enstrom said in the release. “Stealing identities and filing false tax returns is a serious crime that hurts innocent taxpayers.”

She was able to gain the other forms of identification through medical and dental assistant records from a school in Cleveland, according to the indictment.

The trial date is not yet set.