PENSACOLA, Fla. – A former Girl Scout leader pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing her Scouts' identities in order to obtain $87,000 in illegal tax refunds.
Holly M. Barnes, 33, entered pleas to 19 counts of making false tax refund claims to the Internal Revenue Service and 15 counts of identity theft before U.S. District Judge Casey Rodgers.
Barnes, who is being held in jail, could face a maximum of 230 years in prison on those charges and an unrelated shoplifting count when sentenced. Her lawyer did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.
Barnes admitted asking parents of the girls in her troop to provide their children's Social Security numbers for a fake medical release she claimed was required to take trips.
She then electronically filed false tax returns that included Social Security numbers of 15 Scouts and her own four children to obtain refunds.