Sacramento Man Sentenced and Stockton Man Pleads Guilty in Separate Fraudulent Tax Refund Cases
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Today United States District Judge Troy L. Nunley sentenced a Sacramento man to two years in prison and a Stockton man pleaded guilty in two separate cases of conspiracy to submit false claims against the United States, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
“Identity theft schemes harm everyone, especially those which defraud the United States government and members of our community,” said Michael T. Batdorf, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. “Mr. Windon Jr., his co-conspirators and others like them, who create these elaborate schemes have no purpose other than to mislead others and defraud the IRS. IRS Criminal Investigation remains committed to combatting refund schemes such as this and will continue to devote resources to bring those responsible for such harm to justice.”
San Francisco Division Inspector in Charge Rafael Nunez of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which worked with IRS CI in the Windom case, stated, “Postal Inspectors worked closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our partners in law enforcement to arrest and prosecute those individuals responsible for fraud schemes committed against the public.”
United States v. Windom, et al., 2:15-cr-29
Lejohn Windon Jr., 24, of Sacramento, was sentenced to two years in prison. He is the fourth defendant to be sentenced in this case. According to court documents, Windon and his co‑conspirators Lejohn Windom Sr., Audrey Johnson, and Tracy Hartway submitted at least 682 tax returns to the IRS requesting a total of $1,989,803 in refunds. The IRS mailed at least $1,188,972 in refunds based on those fraudulent claims. In many cases, the defendants submitted the fraudulent tax returns without the knowledge or permission of the taxpayers whose names appeared on the returns. When the conspirators received the tax refund checks, they would forge the signatures of the taxpayers and cash the refund checks for themselves.
On January 5, 2017, Lejohn Windom Sr. was sentenced by Judge Nunley to seven years and 10 months in prison and ordered to pay $1.1 million in restitution to the IRS;
On February 9, 2017, Audrey Johnson was sentenced by Judge Nunley to 16 months in prison and ordered to pay $213,725 in restitution;
On February 26, 2017, Tracy Hartway was sentenced to 28 months in prison and ordered to pay $142,069 in restitution.
This case was the product of a joint investigation by the IRS Criminal Investigation and the United States Postal Inspection Service.
United States v. Grady et al., 2:15-cr-204
Christopher M. Grady, 35, of Stockton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to submit false claims against the United States and aggravated identity theft. According to court documents, Grady and others submitted tax returns to the IRS that falsely claimed that the persons named on the returns were entitled to tax refunds. Grady obtained the names, social security numbers, and other personal identifying information of various individuals and used that information, often without the knowledge of those people, to submit the tax returns in their names. Altogether, they submitted at least 1,367 false tax returns, requesting approximately $962,853 in tax refunds.
Charges are pending against Grady’s three co-defendants. The charges against them are only allegations; they are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is the product of an investigation by the IRS Criminal Investigation.
Assistant United States Attorney Matthew G. Morris is prosecuting both cases.