Woman gets prison in Thomaston tax fraud case

mstucka@macon.comJanuary 7, 2014 

A woman was sentenced to three years in prison Tuesday and ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service for her role in a tax fraud case involving Thomaston residents.

Edna Yvonne Orr Goff, 37, of Americus was sentenced on charges of conspiracy to file false federal tax returns and aggravated identity theft, prosecutors said in a statement.

Sumter County deputies served a search warrant for narcotics and guns at Goff’s house in 2011, and they found information from Michelle Blankenship of Thomaston telling how to prepare fraudulent tax returns.

Blankenship, who’d worked for the IRS in 1998 and 1999 as a data transcriber, was arrested the next day on drug charges. Officers reported finding 93 names and Social Security numbers in a notebook, according to Goff’s plea agreement.

Blankenship was sentenced Nov. 14 to eight years in prison and restitution payment of $224,136.

Goff’s plea agreement said she provided stolen identification information to Blankenship. Goff was linked to seven false tax returns that cost the federal government $15,532, the plea agreement said.

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