Two El Dorado Hills Women Indicted For Preparing Bogus Tax Returns And Receiving Illegitimate Refunds
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a 28-count indictment today against Barbara Antonucci, 49, and Sherry Taggart, 54, both residents of El Dorado Hills, California, charging them with conspiracy to file false claims, filing false claims, and aggravated identity theft, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, beginning in March 2008 and continuing through March 2014, Antonucci and Taggart obtained the names, social security numbers and other personal identifying information of other persons. The defendants used this personal information to complete federal tax returns in the names of themselves and other taxpayers. The federal tax returns contained false and fraudulent representations, including false statements regarding wages earned, occupations, and dependents. The defendants filed the false federal tax returns with the IRS through the US Mail and via the internet from Sacramento, Yuba and Placer Counties. Antonucci and Taggart requested that the IRS issue the false and fraudulent income tax refunds in the names of themselves and other taxpayers, from which the defendants took money.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, United States Postal Service, and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorney Kyle Reardon is prosecuting the case.
Antonucci and Taggart were arrested and made their initial appearances in federal court today, April 4, 2014. Both were ordered temporarily detained pending further detention hearing on Monday, April 7, 2014. A status conference before the District Court was set for May 14, 2014.
If convicted of conspiracy to file false claims, Antonucci and Taggart face a maximum statutory penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. If convicted of filing false claims, Antonucci and Taggart face a maximum statutory penalty of up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Finally, if convicted of aggravated identity theft, Antonucci and Taggart are required to serve a two-year sentence that would be consecutive to any other sentences imposed. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.