Girl Scout Leader Given 10-Year Sentence in Social Security Fraud Scheme

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A former Girl Scout leader was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison Thursday for stealing her troop members' Social Security numbers and using them in a tax-fraud scheme.

U.S. District Judge Casey Rodgers sentenced Holly M. Barnes, 33, in the scheme that netted $87,000 in illegal refunds.

Barnes pleaded guilty Oct. 31 to 19 counts of filing fictitious tax claims and 15 counts of identity theft.

Barnes admitted asking parents of the girls in her troop to provide their children's Social Security numbers for a fake medical release, which 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.

She also pleaded guilty to an unrelated charge of stealing government property by shoplifting 32 pieces of merchandise from the Pensacola Navy Exchange and then returning them for refunds totaling $6,012.44 even though she didn't have any receipts.