Jasper Man Convicted in Tax Refund Scheme
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA-- Willie James Coachman, 67, of Jasper, Florida, was convicted in U.S. District Court today of conspiracy to defraud the United States in relation to the filing of false tax returns and seven counts of wire fraud.
Evidence presented at the two-day trial established that Coachman, along with his eight co-defendants, Loretta Lashaun Glover, 41, and Henry Clayton, 32, of Tampa, Florida, Tasheika Shamona Jackson, 24, Melissa Lynn Clayton, 21, Tabitha Ann Bass, 33, Gregory Antonio Clayton, 30, Genetis Carmine Jones, 25, and Latosha Dawn Glover, 32, all of Perry, Florida, prepared and filed more than 350 fraudulent federal income tax returns between 2008 and 2011, seeking more than $2.4 million in tax refunds. Members of the conspiracy created fraudulent returns using taxpayer identification numbers and other personal identifying information stolen from both living and deceased individuals, as well as wholly fictitious information such as employer names, names of dependents, and tax withholding amounts.
Each of Coachman’s eight co-defendants had previously pled guilty to charges involving the conspiracy to defraud the United States in relation to the filing of false tax returns, filing false claims, aggravated identity theft, and wire fraud as alleged in the 116-count indictment. Sentencing for the eight co-defendants is presently set for June 20, 2012.
The defendant faces a maximum sentence of ten years in prison for conspiracy and 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud. Sentencing has been scheduled for August 30, 2012, at 3:00 p.m., before the Honorable Robert L. Hinkle.
Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, praised the work of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, the United States Secret Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Perry Police Department and the Lowndes County, Georgia Sheriff’s Office, whose joint investigation led to the convictions in the case.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Coody.