West Frankfort Man Sentenced to 24 Months in Prison for Receiving Nearly $1 Million in Fraudulent Income Tax Refunds
Stephen R. Wigginton, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced that David R. Childers, 38, of West Frankfort, Illinois, was sentenced in United States District Court in Benton today to a term of 24 months’ imprisonment for his role in receiving fraudulent refunds from false income tax returns submitted to the Internal Revenue Service between 2008 and 2010. Previously, on August 11, 2011, Childers and his wife, Jessica N. Childers, 35, also of West Frankfort, were charged in an information with Conspiracy to Submit False, Fictitious, and Fraudulent Claims to the United States and Receipt of Money Stolen from the United States. Jessica Childers was also charged with Aggravated Identity Theft. Both Childers pled guilty to the offenses with which they were charged.
Evidence offered in support of the guilty pleas and sentence showed that in January 2008, Jessica Childers began electronically submitting false income tax returns to the IRS using the names, dates of birth, and social security numbers of real individuals who were deceased. Between January 2008 and March 2010, Jessica Childers submitted 572 such false returns claiming entitlement to $1,532,184 in refunds. From these claims, David and Jessica Childers actually received $998,614.34. These refunds came primarily in the form of direct electronic deposits into David Childers’ bank account. After discovering the scam, federal authorities were able to seize $192,512.55 from David Childers’ bank account of the nearly $1 million the Childers actually received.
In addition to the 2 year term of imprisonment, David Childers was ordered to pay $806,101.79 in restitution to the United States Treasury and a special assessment of $200 and was placed on a term of 3 years supervised release to follow his incarceration.
Jessica Childers was sentenced on January 13, 2012, to a 9 year term of imprisonment for her role in the scheme. She was also ordered to pay $806,101.79 restitution to the IRS.
Under federal law, parole has been abolished meaning that both Childers will be required to serve a minimum of 85% of their sentences.
The investigation into the case was conducted by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James M. Cutchin.