Two former Tampa’s finest were arrested and charged with federal tax fraud last Wednesday and the husband and wife team are looking at serious time.
Shortly after claims that thousands of dollars in fraudulent tax refund money was used for bills, 54-year-old Eric Houston and 49-year-old LaJoyce Houston surrendered to United States Marshals.
The former Tampa police detectives were released on their own recognizance (ROR) and ordered to surrender their passports and sat in the state.
At press time they had hired federal criminal defense lawyers who had pled them not guilty.
The government claims in their indictment of the couple that there is overwhelming evidence of tax refund fraud. They further state that this fraud is being committed by a small group of former and current Tampa Bay policemen and employees. The indictment goes into details of police identities stolen by thieves including the identity of a policeman killed in the line of duty!
Federal officials state that evidence shows an extremely close relationship between the Houstons and Rita Girven a police informant whose name came up in the tax-fraud investigation. The Houstons adopted Girven’s child, gave her money and spent social time with her.
Rita Girven had previously pled guilty in March to two federal charges of stolen identity tax refund fraud totaling over $33,000! She is scheduled to be sentenced this month and may testify against her former friends. The government is claiming that part of this money was used to pay for Gary and LaJoyce Houston’s pool service and credit card bills.
The affidavit continued by stating in an odd bit of coincidence that over 4,500 people that Eric Houston ran through police databases over three years had later filed fake federal tax returns in their names…with the money going to Eric!
Home town Tampa Bay is almost always in the national top 10 nationally in identity fraud which costs American tax payers billions per year.
Have you or a loved one been arrested for a federal crime or tax fraud? Then call the Federal criminal defense lawyers at Blake & Dorsten, P.A. today! These former prosecutors are experienced trial attorneys.
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