MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Five people were indicted by a federal grand jury in the Middle District of Alabama on a variety of charges stemming from an identity theft and tax fraud conspiracy, the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. Alchico Grant, Veronica Dale, Laquanta Grant, Isaac Dailey and Leroy Howard, were charged in a 39-count indictment that was returned on Dec. 14, 2010, and unsealed today.
All five defendants were charged with conspiring to defraud the United States by filing false claims. Dale was also charged with 24 counts of filing false tax returns, two counts of theft of government funds and two counts of aggravated identity theft. Additionally, Alchico Grant was charged with four counts of theft of government funds; Dailey was charged with three counts of theft of government funds; and Howard was charged with two counts of theft of government funds.
According to the indictment, the defendants were involved in a conspiracy which spanned almost two years and involved using stolen identities to file tax returns claiming millions of dollars in fraudulent refunds. The indictment alleges that Dale filed false tax returns using others’ names and Social Security numbers and deposited the fraudulent refunds into bank accounts that she and her co-conspirators controlled. Dale, Alchico Grant and Laquanta Grant recruited people to set up bank accounts to be used to deposit the tax refunds. Howard and Dailey were two of those who agreed to have their bank accounts used for receiving the fraudulently-obtained refunds. In addition, Alchico Grant attempted to persuade several witnesses to give false information to law enforcement about the scheme. In all, the conspirators defrauded the United States of more than $2 million over the course of the conspiracy.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, Dale faces a maximum of 154 years in prison, Alchico Grant faces a maximum of 50 years in prison, Dailey faces a maximum of 40 years in prison, Howard faces a maximum of 30 years in prison and Laquanta Grant faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.
IRS-Criminal Investigation agents investigated this case, and Justice Department Tax Division trial attorneys Jason Poole and Michael Boteler are prosecuting the case.