WASHINGTON – Laquanta Grant, a resident of Montgomery, Ala., has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to file false claims for refunds, the Justice Department announced today.
Along with four other defendants, Grant was indicted by a federal grand jury sitting in Montgomery on Dec. 14, 2010, on a variety of charges stemming from a large-scale tax fraud and identity theft conspiracy based in that city. According to the indictment and other court documents, the conspirators used stolen identities to file millions of dollars in false tax returns claiming fraudulent refunds over a two-year period in 2009 and 2010. During the conspiracy, Laquanta Grant was responsible for funneling well over a hundred thousand dollars in fraudulent refunds to her co-conspirators.
In February 2009, Grant caused another person (W.D.) to open a bank account that was used to deposit the fraudulent tax refunds. The false refunds were provided to co-conspirator Veronica Dale and others. Between March 2010 and May 2010, Grant accompanied W.D. to ensure that W.D. withdrew the fraudulent refunds from the bank account and provided the monies to Grant and her co-conspirators. Between March 2010 and July 2010, Grant received more than $100,000 in checks from Betty Washington, who was also helping move fraudulent refunds, and provided some of the money to Alchico Grant and others. Laquanta Grant retained a portion of the false refunds.
Washington pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging her with conspiring to defraud the United States on Jan. 5, 2011. Her sentencing is set for June 16, 2011. The case against Dale and several other co-conspirators is awaiting trial.
A sentencing date for Laquanta Grant has not been set. She faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, restitution and a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the loss caused by the offense.
IRS-Criminal Investigation agents investigated this case, and Justice Department Tax Division trial attorneys Jason Poole and Michael Boteler, and Jared Morris, Assistant U.S. in the Middle District of Alabama are prosecuting the case.
More information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts can be found at: www.justice.gov/tax .