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FORMER WHATCOM COUNTY WOMAN SENTENCED TO 30 MONTHS IN PRISON IN CONNECTION WITH CONSPIRACY, TAX FRAUD, BANK FRAUD, WIRE FRAUD AND IDENTITY THEFT
Stole the Identities of Family Members and Tax Return Prep Customers to Commit Fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 22, 2007

KANDI ROSE ROBERTS aka KANDI KROON, 38, of Las Vegas, Nevada was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 30 months in prison, five years of supervised release and $62,270 in restitution for Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, False Claims to the IRS, Fraudulent Use of Another Person’s Identification, Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud, Wire Fraud, and Fraud and Related Activity to an Access Device. At sentencing U.S. District Judge James L. Robart said, “I note a tendency on the part of Ms. Roberts to blame everyone but herself for what happened, and I find that very troubling.”

According to the plea agreement Roberts signed in March 2007, ROBERTS and her then husband, Ernest M. Roberts, 49, of Bellingham, Washington were involved in a conspiracy between 2002 and 2004 to defraud the United States by submitting fraudulent tax returns in the names of others. ROBERTS then collected more than $40,000 in tax refunds they were not entitled to.

In addition to the scheme to defraud the IRS, the couple also conspired to commit Bank Fraud. The couple made use of personally identifying information of family members and others who had used KANDI ROBERTS tax preparation services. Using that information, they opened bank and credit accounts. They forged checks on accounts belonging to family members and ran up large credit card bills in the names of family members and others. Some of the charges occurred even after one victim had died. ROBERTS deposited forged checks into her bank account from the line of credit on her widowed mother’s home. She then diverted mail containing repayment notices, and the mortgage company initiated foreclosure proceedings. The total Bank and Wire fraud is estimated to exceed $75,000.

Ernest Roberts was sentenced earlier this month to 21 months in prison for Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, Making False Claims to the IRS, Fraudulent Use of Another’s ID, and Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud.

At sentencing Judge Robart observed that KANDI ROBERTS had served short jail terms in 1989, 1992 and 1997 for Theft. The judge noted that ROBERTS “is someone who has been involved in a number of serious offenses, has convinced the court to be lenient, and then has gone right back to criminal behavior.” Judge Robart said a lengthy sentence was needed to both protect the public and deter ROBERTS from future criminal activity.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI) The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kathryn Warma.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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