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Memphis Area Resident Indicted on False Claim Charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 16, 2010

Memphis Area Resident Indicted on False Claim Charges

Memphis, TN - Tranika Malone has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Memphis, charged with one count of conspiracy to file false claims against the government and 17 counts of filing false claims announced Lawrence J. Laurenzi, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. Malone was arrested on July 15, 2010, and had her initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Diane K. Vescovo today.  Malone faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on the conspiracy charge and 5 years in prison on each false claim charge.

According to the indictment, Malone conspired with Shakita Turner to operate a scheme to obtain payment of false claims for refunds from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Malone recruited unemployed individuals to file false federal income tax returns using fictitious Forms W-2 that were prepared by Shakita Turner. Malone obtained the names, addresses and social security numbers of the recruited individuals.  Turner prepared fictitious Forms W-2 using false wage and withholding information for the nonexistent employment.  Malone then instructed, escorted, and transported the recruited individuals to a tax return preparation office to have their federal income tax return prepared and filed with the IRS. The returns all claimed refunds that the individuals were not entitled to receive. The recruited individuals agreed to pay Malone $1,000 to $1,500 of the fraudulent refunds in exchange for the fictitious Forms W-2. 

The indictment also lists 17 individual tax returns filed with the IRS for 2005 and 2006 years between February 1, 2006 and January 23, 2007. These 17 returns claimed refunds in excess of $66,700.00.

This investigation was conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne-Marie Svolto will represent the government.          

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Note:  An indictment is a form of accusation and is not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

 

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