Little Rock Grand Jury Returns Indictment In Federal Income Tax Refund Scheme
Little Rock - Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Christopher A. Henry, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, announced today that Christopher Minor, age 39; Annie Watkins, age 60; and Roosevelt Oliver, age 50, all of Osceola, Arkansas, were indicted on charges of filing and conspiring to file false, fictitious and fraudulent claims for federal income tax refunds in a 14-count indictment handed down by a federal grand jury in Little Rock.
“At the IRS, protecting taxpayer money is a matter we take extremely seriously. An integral part of the agency’s mission involves detecting and catching fraudulent tax refund claims," stated SAC Henry. "The object of these schemes is to defraud the government and the taxpaying public.”
The indictment alleges that beginning in or about January 2010 through February 2011, the defendants participated in a scheme to obtain payment of federal income tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) by using unemployed individuals’ names, social security numbers, and dates of birth to file false tax returns in the individuals name without their consent.
The refunds were received in the form of a check or debit card, and in most instances, the taxpayer was unaware of the return being filed and did not receive any part of the proceeds. In total, Minor, Watkins and Oliver caused approximately 29 false returns to be filed, claiming approximately $91,835.00 in false refunds.
This investigation was conducted by IRS-Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron McCree is prosecuting this case for the United States.
Note: An indictment is a form of accusation and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.