MEMPHIS RESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY IN TAX SCHEME
Memphis, Tenn.- Tranika Malone, 32, of Memphis, Tennessee, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy
to defraud the United States and one count of filing a false claim, announced Edward L. Stanton III, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. Malone faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a fine of $500,000 when she is sentenced on November 10, 2011, by U. S. District Judge S. Thomas Anderson.
According to the court documents, Malone conspired with Shakita Turner to operate a scheme to obtain
the 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. Turner prepared the fictitious Forms W-2 using false wage and withholding
information for the nonexistent employment. Malone then instructed, transported, and escorted the
recruited individuals to a tax return preparation office to have their federal income tax returns prepared
and filed with the IRS. The returns all claimed refunds that the individuals were not entitled to receive.
As part of her plea agreement, Malone agreed that the tax loss to the United States due to her actions was
approximately $84,811.00. According to the indictment, the recruited individuals agreed to pay Malone
$1,000 to $1,500 of the fraudulent refunds in exchange for the fictitious Forms W-2.
Turner was sentenced to eight months in prison for her role in the scheme earlier this year.
This investigation was conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Brian
K. Coleman represented the government.