Two Northern California Women Charged in Fraudulent Tax Refund Scheme
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Denna Chambers, 33, of Woodland, and Starsheka Mixon, 32, of Pinole, have been arrested for a scheme to submit false claims to the government for fraudulent tax refunds, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
On Thursday, January 14, 2016, a federal grand jury returned a 16-count indictment charging Chambers and Mixon with conspiracy to submit false claims and submitting false, fictitious or fraudulent claims.
According to court documents, between January 2011 and June 2013, Chambers and Mixon obtained the names and personal identifying information of other persons and used this information to file false federal income tax returns. The tax returns included false statements about the taxpayers’ income, dependents, occupations, and entitlement to tax credits. In all, approximately 178 false income tax returns requesting more than $900,000 in fraudulent refunds were submitted as part of this scheme. Mixon is also charged with submitting a false claim for a tax refund in connection with her personal tax return.
This case is the product of an investigation by the IRS Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Shelley D. Weger is prosecuting the case.
If convicted of the conspiracy to submit false claims each defendant faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. If convicted of submitting false claims, each defendant faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 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.