FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2011
TDD (202) 514-1888
ALABAMA WOMAN SENTENCED 33 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR ROLE IN TAX FRAUD CONSPIRACY
Ordered to Pay More Than $2.3 Million in Restitution
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Laquanta Grant, a resident of Montgomery County, Ala., was sentenced to 33 months in prison for conspiring to defraud the United States and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,326,738.08, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today.
Along with four other defendants, Grant was indicted by a Montgomery, Ala., federal grand jury 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, Grant was responsible for funneling more than $100,000 in fraudulent refunds to her co-conspirators.
According to the indictment and other court documents, 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 the bank 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.
Several other members of the conspiracy have already been sentenced. Wendy Delbridge and Betty Washington, who were not indicted with the other conspirators, both pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to defraud the United States. Delbridge was sentenced to three years probation with six months of home confinement, while Washington was sentenced to 21 months in prison. One of the individuals indicted with Laquanta Grant, Leroy Howard, pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States and was sentenced to four years of probation with six months home confinement.
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. Attorney 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.