Dillon Women Plead Guilty to Fraud Charges Stemming from Tax Preparation Business
Contact Person: Bill Day (843) 665-6688
Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Nina Monique Allen, age 32, and Wendy Marie Johnson, age 38, both of Dillon, South Carolina, entered a guilty plea in federal court in Florence. Allen pled guilty to theft of government funds, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641. Johnson pled guilty to aggravated identity theft, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A(a)(1). United States District Judge R. Bryan Harwell of Florence accepted the pleas and will impose sentences after he has reviewed the presentence reports which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that Johnson worked preparing tax returns and Allen worked as an office manager for EZ Loan and Tax Services in Dillon, South Carolina. Johnson used personal information obtained from former clients of EZ Loan to file tax returns and obtain refunds electronically. Upon receiving the refund, Johnson and Allen would apply a small refund as a credit for loan payments on existing EZ Loan customer’s accounts, then issue a “change check” in someone else’s name. Allen would then recruit people to cash the new checks. Allen recruited nine individuals who were paid between $20 and $200 to cash the checks. The balances of approximately $30,000 received from the IRS was split between Johnson and Allen.
Mr. Nettles stated the maximum penalty Allen can receive is 10 years imprisonment, and maximum penalty Johnson can receive is 2 years imprisonment.
The case was investigated by agents of the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney William E. Day, II, of the Florence office handled the case.