OKLAHOMA WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO MAKING A FALSE STATEMENT TO A FINANCIAL INSTITUTION AS PART OF CARES ACT FRAUD SCHEME
OKLAHOMA CITY – Today, KIMBERLY ATLANTA TIPTON, 43, of Oklahoma City, pleaded guilty to making a false statement to a financial institution, announced U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester.
On April 4, 2023, a federal grand jury returned a 15-count Indictment against Tipton, charging her for devising and carrying out a scheme to steal Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) from several Oklahoma residents.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law in March, 2020, to address the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act in part provided EIPs, commonly known as “stimulus checks”, to American households.
According to the Indictment, from on or about July 9, 2020, to on or about January 5, 2022, Tipton illegally intercepted and deposited 119 EIP checks, totaling $126,400.00. These checks were intended to be paid to individuals other than Tipton. The Indictment alleges Tipton accessed an IRS database, changing the addresses of the individuals the EIPs were intended for, to one of four addresses located in the Western District of Oklahoma where Tipton received mail. She then deposited the checks in two bank accounts under her control, one of which was fraudulently opened using a victim’s illegally obtained personal information.
Today, Tipton pleaded guilty to Count 11 of the Indictment, making a false statement to a federally insured financial institution. As part of her plea, Tipton admitted to knowing the statement was false when she made it, and further admitted that she made the false statement with the purpose of influencing the financial institution.
At sentencing, Tipton faces up to 30 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000.00. She also faces restitution in the amount of $126,400.00.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stan J. West is prosecuting the case.