Columbus Woman Sentenced To Serve 65 Months For Filing Over 180 False Tax Returns
Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announced that Danielle Wallace, age 36, of Columbus, Georgia, was sentenced July 28, 2015 to 65 months imprisonment for wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and filing false income tax returns before the Honorable Clay D. Land, Chief U.S. District Court Judge, in Columbus, Georgia. She was also ordered to pay $100,186 in restitution.
Ms. Wallace pled guilty to the charges on May 5, 2015. As a part of her plea agreement, Ms. Wallace admitted she filed over 180 fraudulent tax returns between January 1, 2014 and March 24, 2014. During this time, Ms. Wallace was employed by Blue Cross/Blue Shield fielding telephone calls from customers. She would obtain personal information from the customers during the calls and then file false income tax returns through “Simple Cash 1,” a tax preparation business she owned and operated in Columbus for the sole purpose of filing false claims. The attempted and actual loss, or the amount of funds which was obtained by fraud, is approximately $494,000.
The charges were brought in connection with the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices, and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigations and prosecutions of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets; and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Since fiscal year 2009, the Justice Department has filed over 18,000 financial fraud cases against more than 25,000 defendants.
“In the Middle District of Georgia, we have made fighting financial fraud a priority. These cases require intensive and detailed investigations, and often involve a number of defendants. My advice to the fraudsters is simple – stop breaking the law. If you don’t, we are going to catch you and make every effort to give you a unique personal identification number – one that is found only on a federal prison inmate’s uniform,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Moore.
For more information on the task force, please visit www.StopFraud.gov.
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the United States Secret Service and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Melvin E. Hyde, Jr. and Chuck Byrd prosecuted the case for the Government.
Questions concerning this case should be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603.