TAX FRAUD CASES RESULT IN PRISON TERMS FOR MULTIPLE DEFENDANTS
September 28, 2011
In Separate Schemes, Fraudsters Tried To Get $2 Million in Fraudulent Tax Refunds
ATLANTA, GA - The United States Attorney’s Office has announced the sentencing of four defendants in three separate cases, all involving schemes to defraud lawful taxpayers through the filing of false tax returns. The schemes sought to obtain over $2 million in fraudulent refunds.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said of the cases, “By stealing tax money, these defendants stole the hard-earned money of fellow citizens who dutifully pay their taxes, which is especially reprehensible in these difficult economic times. Thankfully, the IRS effectively dug through the paper trails to make these successful cases, and our office will continue to aggressively prosecute such cases.”
IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Reginael D. McDaniel said, “While tax fraud is always illegal and always wrong, it is absolutely despicable during a time of massive federal deficits. IRS Criminal Investigation agents will continue to be on the front lines to fight tax fraud, as just one fraudulent tax return is one too many.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the evidence, and documents in court: In one scheme, co-conspirators RAHMAN HILL, 43, of Mableton, Georgia; KEITH LAMONE RICHARD, 40, of Decatur, Georgia; and PETER RAYMOND WILLIAMS, 42, of Newark, New Jersey, obtained more than $1.6 million by filing false income tax returns. The evidence showed that the co-conspirators obtained personal identifying information from people in homeless shelters, jails, and other locations, and MILLER used that information to file income tax returns with falsely inflated claims for refunds. The conspirators filed 123 returns between December 2005 and March 2007, and received $1,660,152 in refunds.
HILL, RICHARD, and WILLIAMS pleaded guilty in May 2011 to the charge of conspiring to defraud the United States by filing false claims for payment. Today United States District Judge Thomas Thrash sentenced WILLIAMS to 5 years, 3 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and ordered him to pay $812,000 in restitution. RICHARD, who had a minor role in the conspiracy, was sentenced to 3 years of probation, with the first 6 months in home confinement with electronic monitoring. RICHARD was also ordered to pay $249,022 in restitution. HILL’s sentencing hearing set for today has been rescheduled to November 3, 2011, before Judge Thrash. A fourth co-defendant in this case, KELCEY MILLER, was sentenced in July 2011 to serve 6 years and 3 months in federal prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. MILLER was also ordered to pay $1,660,152 in restitution. A fifth co-defendant in the case, JABBAR IVAN PENDER a/k/a “James Earl Pender,” 40, of Newark, remains in federal custody on other pending charges in New Jersey.
In two other cases, two Georgia women were sentenced to prison in U.S. District Court for schemes where they used personal information from dead people to file phony tax returns. Between January 2008 and January 2009, DALAWANI HOLLOMON, 42, of Snellville, Georgia filed over filed over 700 federal and state tax returns containing identifying information for individuals who actually had died in 2007 and 2008, and also contained fictitious information of the filer, the income, and withholding claimed. HOLLOMON obtained names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and death for individuals deceased during 2007 and 2008 from public data published by the U.S. Social Security Administration. HOLLOMON then obtained tax refunds paid in reliance on those phony returns. In total, HOLLOMON filed fraudulent tax returns requesting $488,872 in refunds, she actually received $378,548 in refunds.
During this same time period, LASHANZE SHARIEF, 37, also of Snellville, Georgia executed a near-identical scheme. SHARIEF filed 176 federal and state tax returns containing identifying information for individuals that died in 2007 and 2008, and also contained fictitious information regarding the identity of the filer and the income and withholding claimed. SHARIEF also obtained the names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth and death for individuals deceased during 2007 and 2008 from public data published by the U.S. Social Security Administration. SHARIEF requested $466,470 in refunds, actually receiving $34,619.
Last week, HOLLOMON was sentenced to 6 years in federal prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $288,230. This week, SHARIEF was sentenced to 3 years in federal prison to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. She was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $34,619. The IRS had already seized approximately $50,000 from HOLLOMON, and the amount of restitution ordered for both defendants equals the amount of ill-gotten gains from their false filings.
These cases were investigated by Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation.
The case involving HILL and co-defendants was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Will Traynor. The cases involving SHARIEF and HOLLOMON were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jamila Hall and Steven Grimberg.
For further information please contact Sally Q. Yates, United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.