News and Press Releases

Delaware Woman Pleads Guilty to $940,000+
Tax Fraud and Identity Theft Scheme

November 19, 2013

WILMINGTON, Del. - Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that Dawn Chamberlain, age 36, of Claymont, Delaware, pled guilty today to violations of 18 USC § 286 (False Claims Conspiracy) and 18 USC § 1341 (Mail Fraud).  Chamberlain, who will be sentenced on April 3, 2013, by the Honorable Leonard P. Stark, United States District Judge for the District of Delaware, faces a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and 3 years of supervised release.

According to statements made at the plea hearing and documents filed in court, the defendant acted as a tax preparer in Delaware.  From 2009 through 2012, she filed more than 450 false and fraudulent U.S. Individual Federal Income Tax Returns for other people.  In the returns, the defendant claimed more than $730,000 in credits to which her clients were not entitled, including the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

The defendant directed the taxing authorities to deposit the refunds generated by the fraudulent federal income tax returns into her own bank accounts, and bank accounts of her family members.  She returned less than the full amount of the refunds to her clients, converting the remaining proceeds to her personal use. 

The defendant also used her client’s names, dates of birth, and social security numbers to file false and fraudulent New York State Resident income tax returns, requesting refunds of more than $210,000. 

U.S. Attorney Oberly gave the following comments:  “This case should send a clear signal that individuals who file false claims against the United States Treasury will be prosecuted.  I find fraud upon the government to be particularly troubling, and I am committed to working with the Internal Revenue Service to prosecute these cases and seek incarceration wherever possible.”

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, with the investigative assistance and cooperation of the State of New York.  The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Lauren Paxton, District of Delaware.
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