Woman accused of accessing IRS computer, tax payers' information

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A woman employed as a financial technician at an Internal Revenue Service office in Boone County has been charged with multiple crimes related to unauthorized access of an IRS computer to access personal information about tax payers.

A federal grand jury returned a sealed indictment against Joy Fox, 32, on July 18. The indictment was unsealed on Thursday.

Fox, from Independence, was charged with eight counts of intentionally exceeding her authorized access to an IRS computer for the purpose of improperly obtaining personal information of tax payers, according to a news release. She also is charged with three counts of mail fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft, in relation to the mail fraud.

Patrick Sharpe, 23, of Tallahassee, Fla., was charged as a co-defendant in the case, according to the indictment. Sharpe and Fox allegedly used the tax payers' personal identifying information to get online prepaid debit cards in tax payers' names, and then attempted to fund the cards using the tax payers' social security benefits. Once the cards were approved, the defendants had them mailed to addresses in Kentucky. Fox and Sharpe were also charged with conspiracy to file a false claim for a tax refund, according to a news release.

Fox appeared in court Thursday and Sharpe is scheduled to appear on August 14. The trial is scheduled for September 23.