News

Fifth Defendant in D.C. Property Tax Refund Fraud Scheme Pleads Guilty


Connie Alexander Received at Least $3,185,370 in Cash and
Deposited at Least $1,588,246 in Fraudulent District of Columbia Checks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 5, 2008

Greenbelt, Maryland - Connie Alexander, age 52, of Bowie, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to receipt of stolen property and conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with a property tax refund scheme in which millions of dollars were stolen from the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Jeffrey A. Taylor. As part of her plea agreement, Connie Alexander agreed to forfeit $3,185,370 and, in order to satisfy such money judgment, to forfeit a Mercedes-Benz car, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, a Cadillac Escalade SUV, designer handbags, 62 pieces of jewelry, fur coats and monies held in three bank accounts.

U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein stated, “We will seek the forfeiture of all criminal proceeds and property purchased with stolen money because victims deserve restitution and criminals must not be permitted to profit from their crimes. Connie Alexander’s conviction is an important step in our ongoing effort to see to it that justice is done. We will not relent in this investigation until every co-conspirator is held accountable.”

Special Agent in Charge C. Andre Martin, Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, stated, "Money laundering is tax evasion in progress. The IRS - Criminal Investigation Division with the law enforcement community are united in our resolve to financially disrupt criminal organizations that commit crimes against our society and economy."

According to the plea agreement, Alexander first met a co-conspirator (Conspirator) in 1992 when Alexander was working at a Maryland casino that the Conspirator frequented. They became friends, and the Conspirator often gave Alexander gifts of money averaging $5,000 per gift. The Conspirator also gave Alexander furs, and paid for much of Alexander’s 2006 wedding and reception at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Sometime between 1998 and 2000, the Conspirator introduced Alexander to Walter Jones, whom the Conspirator described as her banker. Soon thereafter, the Conspirator provided Alexander with envelopes containing fraudulently obtained District of Columbia government checks to take to Jones at bank branches in the District of Columbia and Maryland, saying that Jones would know what to do with the envelopes. Sometimes Jones directed Alexander to endorse some of the District of Columbia government checks, even though Alexander did not have an account at the bank and Alexander was not entitled to the proceeds of the checks. Other times, Jones directed Alexander to endorse the District of Columbia government checks by signing “Connie Alexander, Esquire” or to endorse the checks in the name of a law firm, even though Alexander was not an attorney and had no affiliation with the law firm. Each time, Jones completed the transaction and gave Alexander an envelope to take back to the Conspirator. The Conspirator sometimes gave Alexander cash gifts after completing a transaction. From December 1998 to November 2007, Alexander deposited on behalf of the Conspirator at least eight District of Columbia checks totaling $1,558,246.83. The individual checks ranged in amounts from $51,510 to $459,990. At the Conspirator’s direction, Alexander deposited two of these checks in the amounts of $459,990 and $345,500 in a bank account Alexander opened for her business called “Aurora R.E. Enterprises,” a name suggested by the Conspirator.

Between 2002 and 2007, Alexander received at least $3,185,370 in 92 cash payments from members of the conspiracy. Individual payments ranged in amounts of $1,000 to $150,000. Alexander used some of the money to obtain a 2000 Mercedes-Benz automobile, 2002 Harley Davidson motorcycle, 2003 Cadillac Escalade SUV, three projection televisions, designer handbags, 62 pieces of jewelry, eight fur coats and two other coats, all of which she has agreed to forfeit, in addition to proceeds from three bank accounts.

Alexander faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for receipt of stolen property and 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the transactions involved, whichever is greater, for conspiracy to commit money laundering. U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. has scheduled her sentencing for September 25, 2008 at 9:30 a.m.

Richard Walters, age 49, of Bowie, Maryland, pleaded guilty on May 29, 2008 in connection with the property tax refund scheme. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for receipt of stolen property and 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering. Judge Williams scheduled his sentencing for September 8, 2008 at 9:30 a.m.

Walter Jones, age 33, of Essex, Maryland, pleaded guilty on May 21, 2008 and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the transactions involved, whichever is greater, for conspiracy to commit money laundering. Judge Williams scheduled his sentencing for September 11, 2008 at 9:30 a.m.

Marilyn Yoon, age 40, of Derwood, Maryland, also pleaded guilty on May 19, 2008 in connection with the property tax refund scheme. She faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for possession of property obtained by fraud. Judge Williams scheduled her sentencing for September 12, 2008 at 9:30 a.m.

Ricardo R. Walters, age 33, of Ft. Washington, Maryland, pleaded guilty on May 2, 2008 in connection with the property tax refund scheme and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for receipt of stolen property and 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering. Judge Williams scheduled his sentencing for July 23, 2008 at 9:30 a.m.

United States Attorneys Rod J. Rosenstein and Jeffrey A. Taylor thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation; the Inspector General’s Office for the District of Columbia; the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue, Criminal Investigation Division; and the District of Columbia Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Office of Integrity and Oversight for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan Su and Deborah Johnston from the District of Maryland and Assistant United States Attorneys Timothy Lynch and David Johnson from the District of Columbia, who are prosecuting the case.

 

 

Return to Top

USAO Homepage
Maryland Exile
Project Safe Childhood

Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.

Stop Fraud.gov

Protect yourself from fraud, and report suspected cases of financial fraud to local law enforcement.

Don't Lose Yourself in a Gang

Talk to your kids about gangs and how to avoid them.

Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force
Stay Connected with Twitter