Former Janesville Resident Sentenced to 30 Months for Filing False Tax Claims
MADISON, WIS. -- John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Rosella Collins, 46, of Hollywood, Fla., was sentenced on Wednesday, October 2, by U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb to 30 months in prison for filing false tax claims. Collins was also ordered to pay $224,293 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, and will be placed on supervised release for three years following her sentence. Collins pleaded guilty on June 11, 2013, to submitting a false claim to the IRS.
Collins, formerly of Janesville, held herself out as a tax preparer. Collins’ clients were family members, friends, and acquaintances of family members and friends. Collins prepared accurate returns that she showed to her clients, but then never submitted to the IRS or the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. Collins then prepared false returns with fictitious business expenses, withholdings, and other falsities that inflated the amount of the tax refund.
Collins directed that the electronic payment of the refund be split into two amounts to go to two different accounts. One payment would go to the client and reflected the amount the client expected to see from an accurately prepared but, unbeknownst to the client, unsubmitted tax return. The remainder went to an account belonging to Collins.
Before Collins was indicted by a federal grand jury in the Western District of Wisconsin, she moved to Florida where she was convicted for fraudulently using the identities of employees, grand theft, and credit card fraud in Charlotte County, and is currently serving a three-year state prison sentence. She faces additional charges in Broward County related to allegations that she criminally used another person’s personal identification information and identity. This 30-month federal sentence is consecutive to her Florida prison sentence.
Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge of the Madison IRS Criminal Investigation Office, said, “This outcome reflects just how seriously our court system takes these types of crimes, and we are pleased that Ms. Collins was held accountable to pay back the money stolen from the treasury by duping honest taxpayers.”
United States Attorney Vaudreuil said, “There are numerous mechanisms for detecting tax fraud, no matter how elaborate the scheme, and tax cheats are eventually caught and prosecuted. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the IRS treat these cases very seriously, and it is clear that the court does as well.”
The charges against Collins were the result of an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Burke.
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