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Press Release

DC Resident Sentenced to Prison for Role in Scheme to Obtain Fraudulent Tax Refunds

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Caused a $1.8 Million Tax Loss

A District of Columbia woman was sentenced to 54 months in prison for conspiring to defraud the United States and commit theft of public money and aggravated identity theft, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

According to documents filed with the court, from approximately January 2008 through April 2012, Sheila Scutchings, along with others, engaged in a scheme to file false tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) claiming refunds to which they were not entitled. Scutchings solicited the names and Social Security numbers of individuals for use in the preparation of those false tax returns. She then caused the fraudulent tax refund checks to be mailed to addresses under her control. Scutchings deposited these refund checks into her own bank account and the account of a co-conspirator, and exchanged others at check cashing businesses. In all, Scutchings caused the IRS to suffer a tax loss of over $1.8 million.

In addition to the term of prison imposed, U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer ordered Scutchings to serve three years of supervised release and to pay $1,806,876.06 in restitution to the IRS. The Court entered a consent forfeiture order directing Scutchings to forfeit $673,551.15.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman commended special agents of the Department of Treasury Office of Inspector General and IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Tax Division Trial Attorneys Thomas Koelbl and William Guappone, who prosecuted the case.

Updated April 3, 2019

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 19-312