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Press Release

Delaware Woman Charged In $940,000+ Tax Fraud And Identity Theft Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Delaware

39 Count Indictment Alleges The Defendant Defrauded The Irs, The State Of New York, And Her Own Clients

WILMINGTON, Del. - Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that an Indictment has been handed down by a federal grand jury charging Dawn Chamberlain, age 36, of Claymont, Delaware, with seven counts of mail fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1341), one count of wire fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1343), eight counts of aggravated identity theft (18 U.S.C. § 1028A), and twenty counts of submitting false claims to the United States (18 U.S.C. § 287).  The defendant faces up to 20 years in prison on each count of wire fraud and mail fraud, up to 5 years in prison on each count of false claims, and consecutive 2-year terms of imprisonment on each of the aggravated identity theft charges, in addition to possible fines and restitution. 

According to the Indictment, from 2009 through 2012, the defendant acted as a tax preparer in Delaware.  She filed false and fraudulent U.S. Individual Federal Income Tax Returns for other people.  In the returns, the defendant claimed more than $730,000 in credits to which her clients were not entitled, including the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

The Indictment further alleges that the defendant caused the refunds generated by the fraudulent federal income tax returns to be deposited into her own bank accounts, and bank accounts of her family members.  She returned less than the full amount of the refunds to her clients, converting the remaining proceeds to her personal use. 

The Indictment charges that the defendant used her client’s names, dates of birth, and social security numbers to file false and fraudulent New York State Resident income tax returns, without their knowledge.  The defendant took advantage of New York’s tax laws, requesting refunds of more than $210,000.  The Indictment alleges that the defendant knew or should have known that these clients did not live in the State of New York.

U.S. Attorney Oberly gave the following comment, “This case should send a clear signal during this tax filing season that individuals who file false claims against the United States Treasury will face significant penalties.  I find fraud upon the government to be particularly troubling, and I am committed to working with the Internal Revenue Service to prosecute these cases and seek incarceration wherever possible.”
“Individuals who commit refund fraud and identity theft of this magnitude deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” stated Akeia Conner, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation.  “We, along with our law enforcement partners and the United States Attorney's Office, continue to do our part in protecting the integrity of the tax system and those individuals whose identities were stolen, as well as a monetary loss against the U.S. Treasury."

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, with cooperation from the State of New York.  The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Lauren Paxton, District of Delaware. 

The charges in the Indictment are only allegations.  The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated July 14, 2015