Pasco County Woman Sentenced for Conspiring with a State of Florida Prisoner to File False Tax Returns and Receive Refunds
Jacksonville - U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard today sentenced Jacqueline F. Ferreira (40, Pasco County), to three years and one month in federal prison for conspiracy to commit tax fraud.
Ferreira pled guilty to the charge on June 28, 2011.
According to the plea agreement, beginning in January 2007 and continuing through June 2009, Ferreira conspired with an inmate at the Union Correctional Institution in Raiford, Florida, and others, to defraud the United States by submitting false tax returns with the goal of securing tax refunds to which they were not entitled to. As part of the conspiracy, Ferreira opened and utilized at least ten bank accounts in the Tampa Bay area. These accounts were used to receive electronic deposits of federal income tax refunds from the false income tax returns that the prisoner and others prepared and filed. Ferreira shared a prearranged percentage of the tax scheme proceeds with the prisoner and the other conspirators. Usually, the arrangement took the form of a 50-50 split, with Ferreira keeping 50% of the proceeds and turning over the other 50% to the other conspirators. With the illegal proceeds, which she accessed through various cash withdrawals from her multiple bank accounts, Ferreira purchased vehicles, furniture, and other items.
More than 350 false tax returns were filed requesting the electronic deposit of a tax refund into bank accounts maintained by Ferreira. However, not all of the fraudulent tax returns were successful in generating a tax refund from the IRS. Through this scheme, $443,711.92 in tax refunds were deposited into Ferreira's bank accounts. The conspirators filed fraudulent returns seeking deposits into Ferreira's accounts in excess of $3 million.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service and the State of Florida Department of Corrections. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John M. Guard.