News and Press Releases

Stewart Levonne Sentencing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2011

 

WOMAN SENTENCED FOR FILING FALSE TAX RETURNS

BATON ROUGE, LA – United States Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux, Jr., announced that U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson sentenced LEVONNE STEWART, 42, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to forty-eight months in prison, to pay restitution of $70,485.38, and to three years supervised release after imprisonment.

STEWART pled guilty on October 26, 2010, to conspiracy to file false claims for tax refunds, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft. STEWART conspired with others, including Sheila Cage and Clarissa Ayo, to obtain the names and social security numbers of various individuals and to prepare false and fraudulent federal income tax returns for filing with the IRS. Some of these names and social security numbers were of residents at area nursing homes. Other names and social security numbers were traded or purchased between co-conspirators. The conspiracy included falsely claiming that taxpayers had been self-employed and had earned income to maximize the refund amount obtained. In all, STEWART’s participation in this scheme involved approximately 30 false tax returns claiming refunds totaling $102,913.00.

James C. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation stated: “We are pleased with today's announcement.  The tax system is built on the premise that taxpayers file accurate and timely tax returns.  Willfully aiding or assisting in the preparing of false tax returns is a serious crime, punishable under Federal law.  To ensure confidence in our tax system, Special Agents of IRS Criminal Investigation are committed to the aggressive pursuit and prosecution of individuals who intentionally violate the nation's laws."  

The investigation of STEWART was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, United States Secret Service, and Social Security Administration. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Rich Bourgeois who serves as Deputy Criminal Chief.

 

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