HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Eight people are facing federal charges connected to a tax refund scheme. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says a man already in a state prison organized it all. Two of the people arrested are from Huntsville. One of those arrested is an employee of Huntsville City Schools.
FBI IRS investigators started looking inside a state prison five years ago. The investigation moved from a prison in Bessemer to another in Bibb County.
FBI agents charged Shermaine German. U.S. Attorneys believe German got names, birth dates and social security numbers from other people to claim false tax returns.
U.S. Attorneys revealed German, who goes by the name of Shade, did all of this while locked up.
An 11-page indictment lists seven others as German’s co-conspirators. The 20-count indictment names Irene King Douglas and Marlo Yvette Miller. Both are from Huntsville. Miller is a custodian at Columbia High School.
“The employee was placed on paid administrative leave. Further action is pending the outcome of an investigation,” said School Spokesman Keith Ward.
Ward acknowledged Miller did self-report her arrest as required by the school district.
WHNT NEWS 19 went to Miller’s home to get her side. Miller’s sister told WHNT NEWS 19 that was not an option.
Right now, she can’t talk. She has an attorney,” said the sister.
WHNT NEWS 19 tried finding Douglas, or her employer. WHNT NEWS 19 made some calls. No one picked up.
German and his accused co-conspirators face several charges carrying penalties ranging from 10-20 years in prison if convicted.
Brian Corbett, a spokesman for the Alabama Department of Corrections, released a statement:
“This case was investigated by the IRS and the FBI. The Department of Corrections is pleased that indictments have been issued and arrests were made, putting an end to this deceitful and fraudulent activity.”