Milwaukee Woman Pleads Guilty to Felony Tax Charges, Mail Fraud and Food Stamp Fraud
James L. Santelle, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on April 11, 2014, Tiffiny Harden (age 30) of Menomonee Falls, plead guilty before Judge Randa to filing false tax returns for over 20 taxpayers and fraudulently obtaining over $120,000 in tax refunds.
Court documents indicate that Harden sought tax refunds by claiming false incomes, false education credits and/or claiming false dependents for the taxpayers. Several of the taxpayers told law enforcement officials that they did not know Harden and did not know how she got their information. Others stated that Harden had offered to help them fill out their returns and they provided her with their identifying information, but never heard back from her. Many of the victims indicated that Harden had offered to fill out their tax returns for them, but had never provided her with the information regarding the employer, educational status, or the dependents listed in the returns using their identities. At least two taxpayers did not know that they were claimed as dependents.
Harden used the United States mail to receive and send false information to the IRS. In addition, during the time she was receiving the tax refunds, she also received food stamps. In order to receive this federal benefit, she claimed in her Food Share application to be homeless during that period and failed to disclose the fact that she had received over $100,000 from the fraudulent tax return scheme.
Based on this guilty plea, Harden faces up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $510,000. Harden has also agreed to pay restitution to the IRS in the sum of $120,125.00 and $400 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Harden's sentencing is scheduled for July 31, 2014.
This case was jointly investigated by the IRS (Criminal Investigative Division), the United States Postal Inspection Service and the United States Department of Agriculture.