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Press Release

Oakland Resident Sentenced To 42 Months In Prison For Tax Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California

OAKLAND – Paul Lamont Lee was sentenced today to 42 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $269,895 for his role in a tax fraud scheme, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Acting Special Agent in Charge Thomas McMahon.

On March 13, 2014, Lee, 51, of Oakland, was charged along with his former girlfriend, Akysha Rockwell, 42, of Oakland, in a twenty-count indictment.  According to the indictment, between January 12, 2012, and July 16, 2012, Lee and Rockwell participated in a scheme to obtain and help others obtain refunds from the IRS based on false claims. The indictment alleges Lee and Rockwell obtained names, social security numbers, and dates of birth for numerous people then electronically filed federal income tax returns in the names of these other people.  The indictment further alleged that the defendants claimed refunds derived from false tax credits, including the Earned Income Credit, the Additional Child Tax Credit, and the American Opportunity Credit.   The indictment charged both Lee and Rockwell with conspiracy to file false claims, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 286.  In addition, the indictment charged Lee with thirteen counts of filing false claims, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 287; and three counts of identity fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028(a)(7).  Under the plea agreement, Lee pleaded guilty to the conspiracy and false claims counts.

Lee’s sentence was handed down today by the Honorable Jon S. Tigar, United States District Judge.  Judge Tigar also sentenced Lee to a 3 year period of supervised release and ordered restitution in the amount of $269,895.  Lee surrendered to the U.S. Marshal on December 17, 2014, and has been in custody since that date.

As for Rockwell, in addition to the conspiracy charge, she was charged with three counts of filing false claims.  Rockwell, pleaded guilty on January 16, 2015, to conspiracy to file a false claim and one count of filing a false claim.  She was sentenced on June 16, 2015, to eighteen months in prison and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $285,034.

Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Moore is prosecuting the case. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation

Updated August 21, 2015