Office of the United States Attorney, Ann Birmingham Scheel
District of Arizona
March 21, 2012
BUCKEYE WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO IDENTITY THEFT AND TAX CREDIT SCAM
PHOENIX - Latricia Williams, 34, of Buckeye, Ariz., pleaded guilty on March 20, 2012, to conspiracy to commit the crimes of false claims, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft. The indictment alleged that Williams and two others devised a scheme to get fraudulent tax refunds by using stolen identities of disabled individuals and by falsely claiming tax credits under the First Time Home Buyer Credit program.
As part of her guilty plea, Williams admitted that she and two others used the stolen identities to file 180 tax returns to falsely claim more than $1,000,000 in tax refunds. Williams also admitted that they concealed their fraud by filing the tax returns electronically using their neighbors’ unsecured wireless networks, directing the refunds to prepaid debit card accounts they had obtained under false identities, and recruiting friends and associates to receive the prepaid debit cards by mail at various addresses.
One of Williams’s co-defendants, Shelton Tanner, was sentenced on February 6, 2012, to five years of imprisonment for his role in the offense.
A conviction for conspiracy carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000. In determining the actual sentence, Judge Frederick J. Martone will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. Judge Martone, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence. Sentencing is set before Judge Martone on June 22, 2012.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service and the Buckeye Police Department. The prosecution is being handled by James R. Knapp and Dominic Lanza, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.
CASE NUMBER: CR-10-1857-001-PHX-FJM
RELEASE NUMBER: 2012-072(Williams)
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For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/az/