CINCINNATI - A federal grand jury indicted two local women Thursday for their alleged involvement in a scheme to file false income tax returns. One of the women was also charged with identity theft.
Prosecutors have charged both Robyn Jackson, 23, and Hennaysha Candler, 25, both of Cincinnati, with one count of conspiracy to file false claims for federal income tax refunds and eleven counts of filing false claims for an income tax refunds. Jackson was also indicted on three counts of identity theft.
According to the indictment, between December 2009 and February 2012, Jackson and Candler allegedly filed federal income tax returns using the names and social security numbers of individuals they recruited. The IRS claims Jackson and Candler filed approximately 42 federal income tax returns with the IRS, falsely claiming approximately $300,874 in fraudulent income tax refunds during that time.
Specifics on the recruitment process and the actual involvement of the recruited participants was not released.
"IRS Criminal Investigation has made investigating refund fraud and identity theft a top priority," IRS Special Agent Darryl Williams from the Cincinnati Field Office. "Our cooperative work with the U.S. Attorney's Office will help protect taxpayers in Southern Ohio from being victimized by identity theft. The IRS is taking additional steps this tax season to further prevent, detect and resolve identity theft cases as soon as possible."
According the indictment, Jackson and Candler allegedly directed the income tax refunds they filed to be deposited into bank accounts they controlled. In addition, Jackson allegedly convinced the participants she recruited to allow her to deposit fraudulent tax refunds into their bank accounts. As part of this arrangement, Jackson paid these individuals a fee for each deposit, officials with the IRS reported.
According to the IRS, conspiracy to file false federal income tax returns for refund is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Filing a false claim for an income tax refund is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Identity theft is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Jackson is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie Bowman who scheduled a detention hearing for Monday, November 19, 2012. Candler was summoned to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie Bowman on November 21, 2012.