Woman Sentenced for Tax Refund Scheme and ID Theft
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Newport News woman was sentenced today to 54 months in prison for filing false tax returns and identity theft.
According to court documents, Neivda Hicks, 33, prepared and filed tax returns for others in exchange for payment from 2013 through 2016. During that period, Hicks filed returns on behalf of at least 53 individuals. In addition to the information that these individuals provided, Hicks included in the returns materially false information designed to reduce the amount of tax due and owing and fraudulently increase the amount of the resulting tax refunds. Among other information, Hicks falsely claimed that the individuals for whom she prepared and filed returns had incurred qualifying education expenses, as well as business profits and losses through falsely claimed periods of self-employment. Hicks also falsely identified members of her own family and inmates who were then incarcerated with her husband in local jails as dependents of those for whom she prepared and filed returns. Hicks failed to identify herself as a paid return preparer on the returns she filed on behalf of others, giving all such returns the appearance of having been prepared and filed by the individuals named therein. Hicks included similarly false information in her own returns for tax years 2012 through 2015. In total, Hicks filed at least 32 materially false income tax returns on behalf of herself and others. Through these returns, Hicks requested over $200,000 in federal income tax refunds. Of this amount, over $150,000 derived from the materially false information Hicks had included in the associated returns.
Tracy Doherty-McCormick, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Kimberly Lappin, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kaitlin C. Gratton prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:17-cr-83.