News and Press Releases

MEMPHIS RESIDENT SENTENCED TO NINE YEARS
IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR TAX AND IDENTITY THEFT SCHEME

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2011

Memphis, Tenn. – Chief U.S. District Court Judge Jon P. McCalla sentenced Nakita J. Brooks, 29, of Memphis, Tennessee, to nine years incarceration, followed by three years of supervised release, for her involvement in a conspiracy to defraud the United States through the filing of fraudulent tax returns, announced Edward L. Stanton, III, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee and Christopher A. Henry, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge. Judge McCalla also ordered Brooks to pay restitution of $110,104.65, with $104,104.65 payable to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Brooks pled guilty on September 21, 2011, in the United States District Court for the Western District of
Tennessee, to conspiracy to defraud the United States and identity theft. Brooks and a co-conspirator, Rhonda T. Mayweather, were indicted on October 21, 2010.

According to the indictment, Brooks and Mayweather devised a scheme to obtain payment of fraudulent refunds from the IRS by filing false 2005, 2006, and 2007 federal income tax returns in the names of individuals whose identities they had stolen. Brooks and Mayweather obtained names, social security numbers and other identifying information of various individuals, both alive and deceased, from the Social Security Death Index and from an underground website. They then prepared fictitious Forms W-2, claiming false wages and withholding amounts, and used these forms to file income tax returns with the IRS using online tax software, claiming tax refunds that were deposited into bank accounts controlled by Brooks and Mayweather. Brooks and Mayweather attempted to obtain over two million dollars in fraudulent refunds through the scheme.

“This sentence should send a strong message to those nefarious violators who participate in tax fraud and identity theft schemes that we will continue to vigorously prosecute and seek the maximum penalties permitted under the law against them,”stated United States Attorney Edward L. Stanton, III.

“Investigating refund fraud and identity theft is a top priority for IRS, Criminal Investigation. Today’s sentence is a positive message to honest taxpayers that we are working hard to protect taxpayer funds from getting into the wrong hands,” stated IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Christopher A. Henry.

The investigation was conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation, Bureau of Immigration Customs and
Enforcement, and the Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Fabian represented the
government.

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