KANSAS CITY, MO (STL.News) – A Kansas City, Missouri woman was sentenced in federal court today for a scheme to file false tax returns, resulting in more than $180,000 in fraudulent refunds being issued.
Tanisha Williams, 45, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Greg Kays to three years and five months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Williams to pay $182,410 in restitution to the government.
On Sept. 19, 2018, Williams pleaded guilty to filing a false claim with the IRS and wire fraud. Williams participated in a scheme to defraud the IRS by helping in the filing of false income tax returns on behalf of others who claimed refunds to which they were not entitled. Her criminal conduct involved the fraudulent tax returns for four tax years (2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014) for 26 separate individuals. Williams’s scheme to defraud the IRS resulted in a significant loss to the government of $182,410.
At times, Williams recruited individuals to file federal income tax returns under their own names and Social Security numbers. At other times, Williams used stolen identity information to file federal income tax returns.
Fraudulent tax returns claimed bogus wages, fictitious tax withholdings, fraudulent dependents, and earned income credits. These fraudulent refunds would then be deposited onto pre-paid debit cards. Once the funds were deposited to the debit cards, the money was withdrawn as cash or the cards were utilized for personal expenses.