You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 17, 2017

Orlando Man Convicted For Tax Fraud

Orlando, Florida – Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow announces that a federal jury has found McKenzie Calixte guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit theft of government property and five counts of theft of government property. He faces a maximum of 5 years in prison on the conspiracy count and up to 10 years’ imprisonment for each of the theft counts. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 29, 2018.

 

Calixte was indicted on February 15, 2017.

 

According to evidence introduced during trial, Calixte conspired with Tanya Fox and others in a scheme involving the filing of fraudulent tax returns using identities that had been stolen from a variety of sources. Fox directed Calixte and others to open business bank accounts in the name of a fraudulent tax preparation business and to have the tax refunds deposited into those accounts. Fox then worked with Calixte and the conspirators to withdraw the funds and spend the money. As part of the scheme, Calixte incorporated a false tax preparation business, Strong Hand Accounting, Tax & Payroll Services, Inc., and opened a business bank account in that name. He had 127 fraudulent tax refunds deposited into this account totaling more than $160,000. According to trial testimony, Calixte then withdrew funds from the account to pay a co-conspirator, to pay rent for a home that he leased with Fox, and to purchase a Range Rover. 

 

Fox attempted to receive approximately $5.8 million in fraudulent tax refunds and was successful in receiving over $4 million from the United States Treasury throughout the conspiracy, which lasted over two years. A federal jury previously found her guilty and she was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.

 

Calixte is the eleventh person to be found guilty as a result of this scheme.  Shanterica Smith, Gerald Williams, and Delray Duncan provided approximately 2,400 names from the Orange County Health Department to Fox, so that she and her co-conspirators could file the fraudulent tax returns. Smith was sentenced to five years in federal prison, Williams was sentenced to four years and six months’ imprisonment, and Duncan was sentenced to a term of three years and six months in federal prison.

 

In addition, April Cuyler was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment and Chianti Smith was sentenced to a year and a day in prison. Marceila Jackson and Reshonda Roberts each received two years in federal prison. Shanta Thaxton was sentenced to two years’ probation, and Mariah Herron is currently awaiting sentencing. 

 

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn P. Napier.

Topic(s): 
StopFraud
Tax
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated November 17, 2017