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Boone County Internal Revenue Service worker sentenced for identity theft, mail fraud

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COVINGTON, Ky. – A former Boone County Internal Revenue Service financial technician was sentenced to 28 months in federal prison Thursday on charges she used an IRS computer to obtain personal information on taxpayers.

Joy Fox, 33, was convicted of aiding and abetting mail fraud and one count of aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft. Under federal law, she must serve at least 85 percent of her prison sentence.

Fox pleaded guilty in September of 2013 and admitted to accessing the IRS’s Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) for illegal purposes, officials said.

The IDRS is a computer system that maintains taxpayer information including names, social security numbers and dates of birth of taxpayers. Authorities said Fox’s access to the computer system was for official business only.

Prosecutors said Fox provided the information she obtained from the system to 23-year-old Patrick Sharpe in Tallahassee, Fla. Officials said Sharpe asked Fox for the personal information of people age 65 or older who were eligible for Social Security benefits.

A U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson said Fox and Sharpe planned to apply online for debit cards using the stolen identities and fund the cards with those individuals’ Social Security benefits.

Sharpe pleaded guilty in October of 2013 to charges of aiding and abetting mail fraud and aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft. He will be sentenced on February 20.

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