Pastor and Nephew Indicted For Tax Refund Fraud Conspiracy
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Kenneth R. Faison, 51, of Foley, Alabama, and Victor T. Williams, 28, of Tampa, Florida, with one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, four counts of theft of public money, and two counts of aggravated identity theft. The indictment was announced today by Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
Count One alleges that Faison and Williams conspired between November 2011 and November 2012 to commit theft of public money by obtaining fraudulent income tax refund checks that were issued as a result of fraudulent income tax returns filed with the IRS, depositing those checks at various banks in northwest Florida, and withdrawing and splitting the proceeds. Counts Two through Five allege that Faison and Williams stole public money on four particular occasions with respect to specific United States Treasury checks, and Counts Six and Seven allege that on two of those occasions they unlawfully used the identity of other individuals to do so. At the time of the alleged offenses, Faison served as the pastor of Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ and Williams is his nephew.
The indictment alleges that the total amount of monies obtained by the defendants from this fraudulent income tax refund check scheme was approximately $235,291.00.
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum possible sentence of up to five years in prison on Count One, up to ten years in prison on Counts Two through Five, and a mandatory consecutive two years in prison on Counts Six and Seven, and a total of $1.75 million in fines.
The indictment results from an investigation by agents of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, and the case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alicia Kim.
An indictment is merely an allegation by a grand jury that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.