Former detective sentenced in tax-refund scheme

AP News
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Posted: Dec 13, 2017 6:25 PM

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A former Tampa police detective has been sentenced to two years and nine months in prison for her part in a tax-refund scheme.

A U.S. attorney's office statement says 51-year-old LaJoyce Houston was sentenced Wednesday. She pleaded guilty in August to receiving stolen government property.

Authorities say Houston received goods, money orders and cash from debit cards loaded with fraudulently obtained tax refunds in 2011 and 2012. Accounts connected to the debit cards contained more than $284,000 in fraudulent refunds. Payments to Houston came from Rita Girven, previously sentenced to 12 years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Houston's husband, former Tampa detective Eric Houston, pleaded guilty to receiving stolen government property in March. He was sentenced earlier to six months in federal prison.