Capital One placed a hold on one of the cards when Flowers tried to pay the large utility bill, and the company mailed a letter to E.R. at the Hale Street address saying they needed additional information to remove the hold.
Several days later Flowers drafted a bogus letter on IRS letterhead and sent it to E.R.'s residence to obtain more identifying information so she could get the hold removed. The letter said the IRS would audit her unless she faxed copies of her driver's license and Social Security card to the IRS. The letter instructed E.R. to fax the documents to Flowers' work area.
Flowers subsequently was transferred to IRS offices in Maitland, Fla., before authorities informed her she was a target of the investigation, Assistant U.S. Attorney Floyd Miller said. The prosecutor said she quit the IRS last year.
Flowers, who is free on personal-recognizance bond, pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft, mail fraud and multiple counts of unauthorized inspection and disclosure of tax returns. She faces a mandatory minimum two years in a federal lockup. Her sentencing is Dec. 10.
Contact Michael Hinkelman at 215-854-2656 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter @mhinkelman.