IRS worker stole landlord's info, opened fake credit cards

August 15, 2012|BY MICHAEL HINKELMAN, Daily News Staff Writer

A FORMER mail-room worker at a Philadelphia IRS office admitted in federal court Tuesday that she used a database at work to steal her landlord's identity and open credit-card accounts - and got caught when she tried to pay a $1,003 utility bill with a fraudulent Capital One card.

Domeen Flowers, 48, a Philadelphia native now living in Winter Park, Fla., was hired in 2007 to work at the IRS, authorities said. She was renting a house from the landlord, identified only as "E.R.," on Hale Street near Brous Avenue in Mayfair, when she tapped into the system in June 2009.

Capital One placed a hold on one of the cards when Flowers tried to pay the large utility bill, and the company mailed a letter to E.R. at the Hale Street address saying it needed additional information to remove the hold.

Several days later Flowers drafted a bogus letter on IRS letterhead and sent it to E.R.'s residence to obtain more identifying information so she could get the hold removed. The letter said the IRS would audit her unless she faxed copies of her driver's license and Social Security card to the IRS. The letter instructed E.R. to fax the documents to Flowers' work area.

Flowers subsequently was transferred to IRS offices in Maitland, Fla., before authorities informed her that she was a target of the investigation, Assistant U.S. Attorney Floyd Miller said. The prosecutor said Flowers quit the IRS last year.

Flowers, who is free on personal-recognizance bond, pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft, mail fraud and multiple counts of unauthorized inspection and disclosure of tax returns. She faces a mandatory minimum two years in a federal lockup. Her sentencing is Dec. 10.

IRS worker stole landlord's info, opened fake credit cards -