Tax Fraud Ring

May 22, 2014

The U.S. Attorney's Office in the middle district of Alabama announced Thursday that members of a $20 million dollar stolen identity theft/tax refund fraud ring have been indicted.  U.S. Attorney George Beck says 10 people, mainly from Phenix City, Alabama, are charged with conspiracy in a scheme to steal some six to seven thousand identities and file fraudulent tax returns.  The identification data was taken from the hospital at Fort Benning, the Alabama Department of Corrections and a call center in Columbus, Georgia.  According to the indictment, the group-made up of family members and friends, carried out the scheme between January 2011 and December 2013.  Convictions could result in penalties of 10 to 25 years. 

Armed Security

Montgomery's City Council voted this week to require all night clubs have an armed security guard on duty during hours of operation.  Mayor Todd Strange cheered the council's efforts and said this is a measure that's long overdue.  If business owners fail to adhere to this ordinance they could risk losing their operating licenses. 

Cash Reward

Central Alabama CrimeStoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information to assist Montgomery Police solve the city's 8th homicide of the year.  MPD Detectives have turned to the public for help in finding the person or persons responsible for the shooting death of 20-year-old Demetrius McGhee of Wade Street.  The victim was shot multiple times in the E.D. Nixon Elementary School parking lot near the playground on Columbia Avenue.  The fatal shooting happened on a Thursday night around 8:30 p.m. on May 15th.  Police said several adults and children were in the playground and witnessed the shooting but all of them fled before police arrived. 

Knight Retires

State Representative John Knight has made it official.  He reportedly sent letters to Alabama State University President Gwendolyn Boyd and ASU Board of Trustees Chairman Elton Dean informing them of his intention to retire July 1st from his post as Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer.  Knight had already announced that he would be retiring earlier this year due to a new state law prohibiting elected officials from holding two state jobs.  Knight is retiring after nearly 38 years of service to the university.