Former TPD detective making plea deal in tax fraud case

- A former Tampa police detective is changing his plea and making a deal with the federal government after being accused in an identity theft and tax fraud scheme.

Former detective Eric Houston and his wife, former TPD sergeant Lajoyce Houston are accused of stealing people's identities from a police database, and then using the information to file phony tax returns. 

Both were fired after the charges were filed. But LaJoyce Houston's attorney, Lyann Goudy tells FOX 13 News she is moving forward with a trial set for May 1. 

Prosecutors say the Houstons didn't pull off the scheme alone. Former police informant, Rita Girven is accused of helping the pair. 

Prosecutors say the three were like family. The Houstons adopted Girven's daughter.

Girven is now in prison, serving a 12 year sentence for her role in the tax fraud scheme, but before being sentenced, she bragged about alleged special favors from the Tampa Police Department. The claims were recorded during one of her jailhouse calls.

"They would give me money, they would pay a bill, they'll help me pay rent, they'll do whatever they could to keep me from getting in trouble," Girven said on a call.

The Houstons are due in federal court next week. Details of their plea agreement are not out yet, but prison could be the Houstons' next stop.

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