Four Individuals Indicted on Federal Charges Related to Tax Refund Scheme
St. Louis, MO – Four individuals participated in a scheme to file false claims for federal tax refunds for tax years 2008 through 2011. The indictment alleges that 93 false federal income tax returns were filed by the defendants as part of a scheme which claimed approximately $335,297 in fraudulent refunds and which caused a loss to the United States government of $184,464.
"An integral part of the agency’s mission involves detecting and catching fraudulent tax refund claims," stated Sybil Smith, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation. "The object of these schemes is to defraud the government and the taxpaying public."
ROMEL TOMLIN, with addresses in Grand Prairie, TX and Phoenix, AZ; TYRA TOMLIN, Phoenix, AZ; KEITH HEBB, St. Louis, MO; and JERMAINE IRONS, St. Louis, MO, were indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday, February 18th. Each defendant was indicted on one felony count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, three felony counts of theft of public money and four felony counts of aggravated identity theft. The indictment was suppressed until the arrest of all of the defendants. The last defendant to be arrested, Romel Tomlin, appeared for arraignment late Monday afternoon, in St. Louis.
If convicted, the wire fraud conspiracy count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and each of the theft counts carry a maximum of 10 years in prison. In addition, aggravated identity theft carries a two-year mandatory sentence of imprisonment consecutive to the other counts. All counts carry a fine up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
This case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Charles Birmingham is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.
As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.