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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cleveland Woman Sentenced to Nearly Four Years in Prison for Tax Crimes

A Cleveland woman was sentenced to nearly four years in prison for her role in a conspiracy that useed false identities, including those of people incarcerated, to file nearly $2 million worth of false tax claims, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Kathy Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office.

Gwendolyn N. White, 32, was also ordered to pay $342,365 in restitution. She was previosuly found guilty of one count of conspiracy to file false claims for income tax refunds with the IRS and on ten counts of filing false claims for refunds with the IRS.

“This defendant knowingly filed false income-tax returns in the names of people whose identities were stolen," Dettelbach said. "She tried to game the system to enrich herself.”

“The defendants who perpetrated this scheme systematically defrauded the government and the taxpaying public,” Enstromm said.  “At the IRS, protecting taxpayer money is a matter we take very seriously.  IRS Criminal Investigation will continue to vigorously pursue those who unjustly enrich themselves by preparing false claims for refunds.”

Kenneth White, 48, of Cleveland, is scheduled to be sentenced in February. He recruited people to use as claimants on some false tax returns, often with the promise of substantial refunds. White also obtained names, Social Security numbers and other personal identifiers of other people to use as claimants, including people in prison or jail. In some cases, this was done without the knowledge or consent of these other people, according to court records.

Gwendolyn White, at the direction of Kenneth White and for a fee, prepared and electronically filed 10 false income tax returns for the year 2008 in the name of the claimants. The total amount claimed in the returns was approximately $1,995,687, according to the indictment.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Vasile Katsaros following an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations.

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Updated March 19, 2015