Scout Leader Given 10-year Sentence in Social Security Fraud

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) - A former Pensacola Girl Scout leader has been sentenced to ten years in federal prison for stealing her troop's Social Security numbers and using them in a tax-fraud scheme.

Holly Barnes was sentenced today in the scheme that netted $87,000 in illegal refunds.

Barnes pleaded guilty October 31st to 19 counts of filing fictitious tax claims and 15 counts of identity theft.

Barnes admitted asking parents of the girls in her troop to provide their children's Social Security numbers for a fake medical release, which she claimed was required to take trips.

She then electronically filed false tax returns that included Social Security numbers of 15 scouts and her own four children.

She also pleaded guilty to an unrelated charge of stealing government property by shoplifting 32 pieces of merchandise from the Pensacola Navy Exchange and then returning them for refunds.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)