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Press Release

Tax Scheme Nets 32 Month Prison Sentence For Philadelphia Man

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

PHILADELPHIA - Steven Young, 32, of Philadelphia, PA, was sentenced today to 32 months in prison for his role in a tax fraud conspiracy.  Young pleaded guilty on May 13, 2014 to one count of conspiracy and six counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of fraudulent federal income tax returns.  Young was providing personal identifying information to his co-conspirators for use in creating and filing fraudulent income tax returns.  Young was charged with Tanita Chapman who pleaded guilty to 23 counts of preparing and filing of false and fraudulent federal income tax returns, as well as conspiracy, and is awaiting sentencing.  In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge J. Curtis Joyner ordered restitution to the IRS in the amount of $42,889, three years of supervised release and a $700 special assessment.

According to court documents, Young’s then-girlfriend, Wendy Vandyke, charged separately, was friends with Chapman.  In 2009, Chapman prepared federal income tax returns for Vandyke and others.  In many of these returns, although not in the one that she prepared for Vandyke, Chapman filed an accompanying form 5405 in which she unlawfully claimed the First Time Home Buyer’s Credit (“FTHBC”) for individuals whom she knew were not eligible to receive it. To this end, Vandyke provided to Chapman identifiers of individuals whom Vandyke and Chapman knew were ineligible to receive the FTHBC, in order for Chapman to prepare returns unlawfully claiming the FTHBC. Vandyke received these identifiers from Young who was incarcerated at the time at a State Correctional Institution.  Young obtained these identifiers from inmates with whom he was incarcerated and, in exchange for their identifiers, Young arranged for each inmate to receive a portion of the FTHBC that was fraudulently claimed on that inmate’s behalf.  However, the larger portions of the fraudulently received credits were split between Vandyke/Young (as a unit) and Chapman.  Ultimately, as a result of the scheme, $42,889 in FTHBCs were fraudulently claimed in tax returns prepared by Chapman, ostensibly for six inmates. The government issued refunds for this same amount.

The case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Linwood C. Wright, Jr.

Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525

Updated December 15, 2014