Woman Pleads Guilty To Her Role In Scheme To Defraud IRS
MINNEAPOLIS—Yesterday in federal court, Nunziata Williams pleaded guilty to her role in a scheme to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) out of money by claiming tax refunds to which she was not entitled. Williams specifically pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the federal government. Williams, who was charged via an Information on October 31, 2012, entered her plea before United States District Judge Joan N. Ericksen.
In her plea agreement, Williams admitted she worked with co-conspirators to obtain the names, social security numbers, and other identifiers of unknowing individuals. Williams and her co-conspirators then used that information to create false 2010 federal income tax returns that included claims for refunds. In order to receive the refunds, Williams and her co-conspirators recruited people to establish fictitious income tax preparation businesses in Minnesota and elsewhere, where the refunds were to be sent.
At a plea hearing last week, Cassidy McDaniel admitted that Williams recruited her to file documents with the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office to establish a fictitious business called C and M Tax Preparation. Under the direction of Williams, McDaniel also opened a Wells Fargo savings account and checking account in the name of C and M Tax Preparation, so the refunds could be deposited.
Between February 17, 2011, and March 25, 2011, McDaniel received, via C and M Tax Preparation accounts, approximately $400,000 in fraudulently obtained 2010 federal income tax refunds. On February 17, 2011, McDaniel, at the direction of Williams, began transferring and withdrawing from those accounts portions of the refund money, including a transfer of $10,000 from the C and M Tax Preparation bank account to a bank account controlled by Williams.
In her plea agreement, Williams also admitted to aiding another individual file documents with the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office to establish a fictitious business called One Stop Tax Services. The individual opened four Wells Fargo bank accounts. Two were under his own name and two were under the name of One Stop Tax Services. Between March 24, 2011, and April 1, 2011, he received the deposited refunds from false 2010 federal income tax returns into his bank accounts. These deposits totaled approximately $150,000. Between March 24, 2011, and March 31, 2011, $21,000 was transferred from his account into Williams’ account.
For her crimes, Williams faces a potential maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison, as well as possible fines and forfeitures. Judge Ericksen will determine her sentence at a future hearing, not yet scheduled.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen B. Schommer.
The Minnesota U.S. Attorney’s Office wants to remind people to protect themselves from identity theft. For more information, visit http://www.stopfraud.gov/protect-identity.html.
The IRS-Criminal Investigations also urges citizens to review the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft, which can be found at http://www.irs.gov.
Per U.S. Department of Justice policy, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is not allowed to provide the age and city of residence for defendants charged in criminal tax cases.