Lithonia man sentenced for stealing $25K in tax payments

A 25-year-old Lithonia man was sentenced Thursday to two years in prison for stealing approximately $25,000 in tax payments meant to go to the IRS, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced.

Jason Shepherd was sentenced on a charge of mail fraud related to the scheme. He pleaded guilty on Oct. 12.

Shepherd worked as a contractor for Bank of America at a facility in Tucker that processed tax payments. Authorities said he stole approximately 50 money orders worth about $25,000 total between June and November 2009. He changed the money orders and deposited most of them into prepaid debit card accounts, they said.

“This defendant was entrusted to process payments sent by taxpayers to pay their taxes, but instead, he stole dozens of money order payments and used the money to enrich himself,” U.S.  Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a news release.

“This defendant’s crimes not only caused the government to lose tax revenue, it also hurt the innocent taxpayers whose payments were stolen,” Yates said.

Shepherd's prison sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release. He also must pay $24,958 in restitution to the IRS, authorities said.