Alabama Defendants Sentenced in a Multi- Million Dollar Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Scheme
Three defendants involved in a stolen identity refund fraud scheme were sentenced today in the Middle District of Alabama, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. Chiquanta Davis received a prison term of 66 months, Terrence Davis was sentenced to 18 months in jail and Laurekshia Blakely received a six month prison sentence. All three were also sentenced to three years supervised release.
In May 2012, the three defendants had pleaded guilty to various charges in a superseding indictment: Chiquanta Davis pleaded guilty to conspiracy to file false claims, theft of public funds, and aggravated identity theft. Terrence Davis and Blakely each pleaded guilty to one count of theft of public funds.
According to court documents, Chiquanta Davis operated a sham tax business in 2010 called It’s Tax Time out of her home. Davis opened a bank account in the name of It’s Tax Time and directed a total of $1,458,600 in fraudulent refunds to that bank account. Although the IRS intercepted and stopped many of the tax refunds, Davis still received a substantial amount into the bank account. Davis used the funds, among other things, to purchase a Cadillac Escalade. As part of her plea agreement, Davis agreed to forfeit the Cadillac Escalade.
Court records also establish that in 2011, Chiquanta Davis assisted with the filing of false tax using stolen identities. Between January and June of 2011, 192 false returns requesting $769,223 in refunds were filed from her home. These refunds were directed to various bank accounts, including bank accounts controlled by her, her husband Terrence Davis and Laurekshia Blakely. Fraudulent refunds totaling $199,959 from 54 false tax returns were directed to Terrence Davis’s bank accounts. Fraudulent refunds totaling $24,314 from five false tax returns were directed to Laurekshia Blakely’s accounts.
Kathryn Keneally, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division, and U.S. Attorney George L. Beck, Jr. commended the efforts of special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation for investigating the case, and Tax Division Trial Attorneys Jason H. Poole and Michael Boteler and Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Brown for prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found at www.justice.gov/tax.