Pierce County woman sentenced to 3 years in prison for tax fraud scheme

A Pierce County woman has been sentenced to three years in prison for her role in a tax refund scheme that cost the IRS $87,000.

Barbara Stahlman, 42, used fraudulent tax returns without the knowledge of people whose information she was using, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

She filed 108 false tax returns from 2010 to 2013, of which 44 were accepted by the IRS. The scheme netted Stahlman more than $95,000 before she was indicted in February.

Federal prosecutors highlighted the problems she caused for the people whose identity she stole to the file the tax returns.

“Stahlman committed multiple acts of identity fraud, which has caused innocent victims to become entangled with the IRS, over returns they did not file, and refunds they never received,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing recommendation.

“It will take years for them to cleanse their names of the stain of Stahlman’s fraud.”