January 28, 2013

OWINGS MILLS WOMAN INDICTED IN TAX FRAUD SCHEME

Allegedly Obtained Over $221,000 in Fraudulent Tax Refunds

Baltimore, Maryland - A federal grand jury has indicted Karen Kimble, a/k/a “Karen Kimble-Mamah,” and “Karen Mamah,” age 38, of Owings Mills, Maryland, on charges of wire fraud, subscribing to a false tax return, aiding in the filing of a false tax return, aggravated identity theft and visa fraud. The indictment was returned on January 24, 2013. Kimble has an initial appearance scheduled today at 2:15 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, Courtroom 7B before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan K. Gauvey.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Acting Special Agent in Charge Sheila Olander of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office; and District Director Gregory Collett of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Baltimore District Office.

“Fraud schemes involving identity theft cause tremendous financial damage and can make honest taxpayers face a more difficult time obtaining their lawful refund,” said Shelia Olander, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Washington DC Field Office. “Ms. Kimble’s refund fraud scheme victimized innocent taxpayers and tampered with the integrity of our nation’s tax system. The IRS will remain vigilant in our investigation of these schemes and will continue to work with prosecutors to combat this type of criminal conduct.”

The 21-count indictment alleges that from February 2008 through at least April 2012, Kimble, who falsely held herself out to others as a “certified tax preparer,” conducted a tax fraud scheme by submitting fraudulent tax returns for clients. Specifically, the indictment alleges that Kimble falsely inflated credits and deductions and clients’ tax returns, as well as on her own tax returns, in order to fraudulently increase the tax refund. Kimble provided her clients with a tax return that did not reflect the false deductions and credits, nor did she inform them of the fraudulent deductions/credits. Kimble filed the fraudulent returns without her clients’ knowledge or permission, using their personally identifiable information. Kimble directed that the tax refunds be mailed or directly deposited with all of the refund sent to Kimble, or with some of the refund sent to the taxpayer and some to Kimble. The indictment alleges that Kimble received a total of over $221,000 in fraudulent federal and tax refunds, none of which she reported as income on her own tax returns. The indictment seeks forfeiture of $221,698, alleged to be the proceeds of the scheme.

The indictment also alleges that on February 14, 2008, Kimble married a Ghanian citizen, knowing that the marriage was not valid because the Ghanian was not legally divorced from his first wife.

Kimball faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for each of six counts of wire fraud; three years in prison for each of five counts of subscribing to a false tax return, and for each of five counts of aiding in the filing of a false tax return; a mandatory two years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, for each of four counts of aggravated identity theft; and 10 years in prison for visa fraud.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised HSI Baltimore, IRS-Criminal Investigation and the USCIS Baltimore District Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Peter M. Nothstein, who is prosecuting the case.