First Defendant in D.C. Property Tax Refund Fraud Scheme Convicted of Receiving Stolen Property and Money Laundering Charges
Greenbelt, Maryland - Ricardo R. Walters, age 33, of Ft. Washington, 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 (DC Tax Office), announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Jeffrey A. Taylor.
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 checks to Walters that were fraudulently issued from the DC Tax Office. 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 checks totaling $1,229,315.16. A total of 10 fraudulent District of Columbia 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 the funds from the District of Columbia government checks, including 18 transactions directing $795,000 to himself and at least 16 transactions distributing $2,345,047 to four co-conspirators.
Walters faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for receipt of stolen property and a maximum of 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering. U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. has scheduled 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; the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration; 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.