Two Fairbanks Residents Arrested For Filing False Income Tax Returns, Mail Fraud And Aggravated Identity Theft
Anchorage, Alaska – Acting U.S. Attorney Kevin Feldis announced today that Earl Worthy, 39 and Tammy Jean Jackson, 39, of Fairbanks, Alaska, were arrested on February 24, 2015, for filing false income taxes. Worthy and Jackson were indicated by a federal grand jury on February 18, 2015, for one count of conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims; seven counts of mail fraud; and seven counts of aggravated identity theft.
According to the indictment, between approximately May 2009 and September 2012 Worthy and Jackson conspired to file false income tax returns claiming refunds to which they were not entitled and which used the identifying information of others. Many of the returns were filed for inmates at correctional facilities and in some instances the identifying information was used without the knowledge or permission of the person in question. Approximately 95 false tax returns claiming approximately $214,560 in fraudulent refund claims were submitted in the scheme.
The indictment alleges that the false income tax returns claimed false wages and tax withholdings based upon fabricated Forms W-2. These returns each claimed that the taxpayer in question was owed thousands of dollars in refunds to which they were not entitled. Paper copies of the false tax returns were mailed from Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska, and Tucson, Arizona, to the IRS in Fresno, California, for processing and the signatures on these paper returns were forged. Tax refund checks that were issued as a result were sent to the address listed on the false tax return which in some cases was the Fairbanks Correctional Center. Other refunds were issued via direct deposit into the bank account of a conspirator.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven E. Skrocki, if convicted, the defendants face terms of imprisonment of up 20 years and fines up to $250,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history of the defendant.
An indictment is only a charging document and is not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Acting U.S. Attorney Kevin Feldis stated, “The false income tax return scheme alleged in this case is consistent with similar schemes perpetrated previously in Alaska and throughout the United States. Such schemes not only impact all taxpayers generally, but they also can be devastating to the victims whose identities are stolen and used as part of the fraud.”
Mr. Feldis commends the IRS Criminal Investigation for the investigation of this case.