Phoenicians Sentenced To Prison For Tax Refund Scheme

The final of four individuals that participated in a scheme to file false claims for federal tax refunds for tax years 2008 through 2011, Romel and Tyra Tomlin of Phoenix were sentenced Friday to two years in prison. Ninety-three false federal income tax returns were filed by the defendants as part of a scheme which claimed approximately $335,297 in fraudulent refunds and which caused a loss to the United States government of $184,464.

“The object of these fraudulent refund schemes is to defraud the government and the taxpaying public,” said Karl Stiften, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation. “The prosecution of these individuals is a vital element in maintaining public confidence in our tax system.”

Romel Tomlin, 52, with addresses in Grand Prairie, TX and Phoenix, AZ, was sentenced today; Tyra Tomlin, 47, Phoenix, AZ; was sentenced in January to 24 months in prison, Keith Hebb, 50, St. Louis, and Jermaine Irons, 42, St. Louis, were each sentenced in January to five years of probation. They appeared before United States District Judge Rodney W. Sippel.

This case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Charles Birmingham handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.