Department of Justice sealALEJANDRO N. MAYORKAS
United States Attorney
Central District of California

Thom Mrozek, Public Affairs Officer
(213) 894-6947

April 4, 2001

 Four residents of the Inland Empire have been sentenced in federal court for their involvement in a scheme that filed 112 false Federal income returns, United States Attorney Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced today.
 All four of the defendants were sentenced Monday afternoon by United States District Judge Margaret M. Morrow. The four previously had pleaded guilty to various charges for their roles in the filing of the false tax returns for the 1994 and 1995 tax years that fraudulently sought refunds totaling $377,855.
 Teresa A. Whittaker, 46, of Fontana, was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison and was ordered to pay $251,260 in restitution. As the ringleader of the scheme, Whittaker directed the others involved in the scheme to recruit victims by promising them they would receive tax refunds. Whittaker would take the names and social security numbers and use that information to prepare the false returns.
 Lakisathia D. Badget, 29, of Fontana; Terrence L. Stewart, 30, of San Bernardino; and Alva M. Hardin, 27, of Pomona, were each sentenced to three years of probation (Stewart was also sentenced to six months of home detention) for their involvement in the scheme. In addition, Judge Morrow ordered Badgett to pay $30,560 in restitution, Stewart to pay $67,499 and Hardin to pay $13,362.
 The case was investigated by the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS.

 Release No. 01-063

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