News and Press Releases

Memphis Resident Pleads Guilty in Tax Fraud Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2010

Memphis, TN - Shakita Turner, 32, of Memphis, Tennessee, pled guilty on September 9, 2010 to three counts of filing false claims against the United States announced Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. She faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $750,000 when she is sentenced on December 17, 2010.

Turner was indicted on July 30, 2009, charged with 23 counts of filing false claims against the government. According to the indictment, from January 1, 2006 until about April 15, 2006, and from January 1, 2007 until about April 15, 2007, Turner conspired with another individual, Lorenzo L. Seaberry, 28, of Somerville, Tennessee, to defraud the United States by creating a scheme to obtain false claims for refunds from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The indictment states that Turner and Seaberry caused others to file false 2005 and 2006 federal income tax returns that claimed refunds that they were not entitled to receive.

Turner admitted that she recruited individuals to file the false income tax returns using fraudulent Forms W-2 created by Turner. She admitted that she obtained the names, addresses, and social security numbers of the individuals and then prepared Forms W-2 using false and fictitious wage and withholding information. These forms were then distributed to the recruited individuals to be used in filing tax returns with the IRS. Turner admitted that she arranged to receive a fraction of the estimated fraudulent refunds in exchange for supplying the bogus Forms W-2. The indictment states that over $98,000 in false refunds were claimed on the fraudulent returns.

This investigation was conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Bailey represented the government.

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