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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 13, 2013

Pittsburg Mother and Son Plead Guilty to Conspiring To File False Claims

OAKLAND, Calif. – Tonya Gilard and Tierre Crummie pleaded guilty last week to conspiring to file false tax returns, United States Attorney Melinda Haag and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge José M. Martinez announced.

According to the plea agreements, in January 2009, Gilard and Crummie assisted in filing false federal income tax returns with the IRS. Gilard obtained the personal identifying information of others, including her son, Crummie, which she used to file false federal income tax returns. Gilard and Crummie also filed tax returns in their own names that falsely claimed entitlement to the first-time homebuyer’s credit.

In furtherance of the conspiracy, Crummie provided Gilard with individuals’ bank account information and e-mail addresses, while another person provided names to use on the false tax returns. On April 30, 2009, a search warrant was executed at the defendants’ residence where $69,800.10 was seized. The defendants admitted the seized money was proceeds from the false refund scheme.

In total, 91 false federal income tax returns were filed as part of this scheme and $688,687 in false refunds were issued by the IRS.

Gilard, 44 and Crummie, 24, both of Pittsburg, California, were indicted on August 8, 2012. They were charged with one count of conspiracy to file false claims. They pleaded guilty to the sole count in the indictment.

The maximum statutory penalty for conspiracy to file false claims, in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. § 286 is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Thomas Newman is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting this case along with Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Parker. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.