First Defendant Sentenced in D.C. Property Tax Refund Fraud Scheme in Which Nearly $50 Million Was Stolen
Over $4 Million in Fraudulent District of Columbia Checks Deposited
Into Defendant’s Business Account
Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. sentenced Ricardo R. Walters, age 33, of Ft. Washington, Maryland, today to 78 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for receipt of stolen property and conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with a property tax refund scheme in which more than $48 million was 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. Ricardo Walters was taken into custody today to begin serving his sentence.
According to the plea agreement, Ricardo Walters owned a home cleaning business called Provident Home Services. From January 2006 through November 2007, a co-conspirator provided fraudulently obtained D.C. government checks to Walters.
Walters and others deposited the checks into a Provident Home Services bank account and, using the funds from the deposited checks, obtained cashier’s checks made out to Walters and other co-conspirators. Walters personally deposited at least three fraudulently obtained D.C. government checks totaling $1,229,315.16. A total of 10 fraudulently obtained D.C. government checks totaling $4,205,318.77 were deposited in the Provident Home Services account. Walters regularly reviewed the bank statement of the account.
Walters also conducted transactions to distribute these funds, including 18 transactions directing $795,000 to himself and at least 16 transactions distributing $2,345,047 to four co-conspirators.
Patricia Steven, age 73, of Harwood, Maryland; Robert Steven, age 55, of Edgewater; Samuel Earl Pope, age 61, of Washington, D.C.; Connie Alexander, age 52, and Richard Walters, age 49, both of Bowie, Maryland; Walter Jones, age 33, of Essex, Maryland; and Marilyn Yoon, age 40, of Derwood, Maryland, have pleaded guilty in connection with the property tax refund scheme. Patricia Steven, Robert Steven, Richard Walters and Alexander each face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for receipt of stolen property and 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering at their sentencing on November 10, October 8, September 8 and 25, 2008, respectively. Samuel Pope faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the money laundering conspiracy and for mail fraud. Walter Jones 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 at his sentencing on September 11, 2008. Marilyn Yoon faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for possession of property obtained by fraud at her sentencing on September 12, 2008.
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 prosecuted the case.