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After living large on tax fraud, prisoner says she can't pay debt

Rashia Wilson dubbed herself the first lady of refund fraud.
Rashia Wilson dubbed herself the first lady of refund fraud.
Published Apr. 8, 2014

Living large through tax fraud, now she can't pay meager debt

Rashia Wilson, self-described queen of Tampa tax refund fraud, once inhabited a world of ill-gotten Prada, Gucci and Audi. Busted down to a federal prison in Aliceville, Ala., she earns just $5.25 a month, she declares in newly filed court papers. That's a problem because Wilson, 28, was ordered to pay a token $25 per calendar quarter toward the $3.1 million in restitution that she owes the IRS for filing false tax returns using stolen identities. She needs money to buy vitamins and hygiene items, too, she says. So she's asking U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr. to suspend restitution payments until after her release date: Jan. 5, 2031.

HART appoints an interim director

The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit board on Monday tapped its chief operating officer to serve as the agency's leader until it finds a permanent replacement for outgoing CEO Philip Hale. Katharine Eagan will start in the interim position on May 2, said HART spokeswoman Sandra Morrison. Hale leaves at the end of this month. The board will search for a full-time director later in the year, after a countywide committee finishes an extensive review of the agency, Morrison said. Hale joined HART in 2008. He announced in February he would be stepping down.

In sex assault, a 30-year term

A Tampa man will spend 30 years in prison after pleading guilty Monday to sexually assaulting a 70-year-old woman in a Sulphur Springs church. Demetreius M. Morris was arrested a few days after the Oct. 18, 2012, attack when a DNA sample linked him to the crime. The woman was assaulted as she gave Morris a tour of the Sanctuary of Living Word Fellowship, 8215 N 13th St. While in jail, it was discovered that he had been sending notes to someone saying he wanted to put a hit on the victim and her daughter. Morris offered to pay for the hit with Social Security money he was due. Morris, 28, pleaded guilty to charges that include sexual battery, kidnapping and solicitation to commit murder.


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