News and Press Releases

Antioch Woman Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To File False Claims

December 20, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO – An Antioch, Calif., woman pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to file false claims United States Attorney Melinda Haag and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Special Agent in Charge Marcus Williams announced.

According to her plea agreement, beginning in June 2008, Charleszetta Brown aka Candice Taylor, participated in a scheme to obtain tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by filing false tax returns. Brown knew the returns were false when she filed them because the individuals whose names appeared on the tax returns did not supply the information used to support the refunds. In many instances the person whose name appeared on the return did not give permission to have the tax return filed. In order to carry out the scheme, Brown used her own bank account as well as bank accounts of others involved in the scheme and listed those on the fraudulent returns. When the fraudulent tax refund was issued by the IRS, the money would be withdrawn by the account holder who split the proceeds with Brown.

As part of the scheme, Khendria Williams and Sparkle Jernigan supplied names for use in the false filings. The names were sent through text messages to Brown’s phone. In addition, Clexton Ward obtained names to use on the false tax returns as well as names of individuals whose bank account information that could be used to receive the false refunds.

Brown, 43, of Antioch, was charged on April 17, 2012, with conspiracy to file a false claim. She is scheduled to be sentenced in San Francisco federal court at 2 p.m. on March 27, 2013, before United States District Court Judge Charles R. Breyer.

On Aug. 10, 2011, Jernigan, 33, of Pittsburg, Calif., was sentenced to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $31,786.

On Feb. 15, 2012, Williams, 36, of Pittsburg was sentenced to eight months in prison and ordered to pay $17,600 in restitution.

Ward pleaded guilty to conspiracy to file false claims on Aug. 22, 2012,.

The maximum statutory penalty for conspiracy to file false claims in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. § 286, is 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Newman and Special Assistant United States Attorney Charles Parker are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Kathy Tat. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

(Brown Indictment )



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