Antioch Residents Sentenced To Prison In Tax Fraud Scheme
OAKLAND – Khyber Law and Jessika Green each were sentenced to one year and a day for conspiring to file false claims, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge José M. Martinez.
Law, 26, of Antioch, pleaded guilty on April 4, 2014, to conspiracy to file false claims in connection with numerous tax-related filings. Green, 33, also of Antioch, pleaded guilty on May 30, 2014, to the same charge. According to their plea agreements, beginning in January 2011, Law and Green assisted in filing several tax returns with the IRS that were false and fraudulent. The defendants admitted that the tax returns were false because the filings included fictitious Forms W-2 that inflated the purported filers’ wages. In some instances, the filings included tax returns filed in Law’s or Green’s name which falsely reported their earnings from a staffing agency. In other instances, the defendants admitted to filing the false tax returns without ever showing the fraudulent tax return to the purported filer.
Law and Green were charged along with a third defendant, Starkisha Benson, in a twenty-four count superseding indictment on Dec. 17, 2013. Law, Green and Benson all were charged with wire fraud, conspiracy to file false claims, filing false claims, effecting fraudulent transactions with an access device, theft of public money, and aggravated identity theft. Law and Green each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to file false claims, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 286. Benson pleaded guilty to the same charge on October 3, 2014, and was sentenced on January 9, 2015, to 30 months in prison. All three defendants were sentenced to a three year period of supervised release and each was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $98,927.
The charges against these defendants were the result of an investigation initiated by the Berkeley Police Department. On April 7, 2011, during a search of a vehicle, the Berkeley Police Department uncovered a notebook with Law’s name on the cover. The notebook contained the identity profiles of eleven individuals including their names, dates of birth, numbers of bank accounts, bank routing numbers, email addresses, and passwords. Eight of these identity profiles were used to file false federal income tax returns.
The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Jon S. Tigar, United States District Judge. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kate Patchen and Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Newman are prosecuting the case. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Berkeley Police Department and IRS Criminal Investigation.