Buckeye woman pleads guilty to tax fraud

Latricia Williams, 34, of Buckeye, pleaded guilty on March 20, 2012, to tax fraud and identitiy theft. Before Judge Frederick J. Martone, Williams pleaded to conspiracy to commit the crimes of false claims, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

The indictment alleged that Williams and two others devised a tax fraud scheme to get fraudulent tax refunds by using stolen identities of disabled individuals and by falsely claiming tax credits under the First Time Home Buyer Credit program.

As part of her guilty plea, Williams admitted that she and two others used the stolen identities to commit the tax fraud by filing 180 tax returns to falsely claim more than $1,000,000 in tax refunds.

Williams also admitted that they concealed their fraud by filing the tax returns electronically using their neighbors’ unsecured wireless networks, directing the refunds to prepaid debit card accounts they had obtained under false identities, and recruiting friends and associates to receive the prepaid debit cards by mail at various addresses.

One of Williams’s co-defendants, Shelton Tanner, was sentenced on February 6, 2012, to five years of imprisonment for his role in the offense.

A conviction for conspiracy carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000. Judge Martone, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence. Sentencing is set before Judge Martone on June 22, 2012.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service and the Buckeye Police Department.

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