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Justice News

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

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Three Women Indicted For Tax Fraud

A 29-count federal indictment was filed charging three women for their roles in a tax fraud conspiracy in which they fraudulently claimed and received more than $436,000, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Kathy Enstrom, IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge.

Indicted are Erica Harris, 32, and Shaunte Harris, 29, both of Toledo, and Latoya Gilmer, 29, of Detroit.  The charges relate to conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims and false, fictitious, or fraudulent claims from 2009 through April 2010. 

Harris, Gilmer and Harris approached individuals with little or no income and offered them a portion of the fraudulent tax refunds in exchange for their personal information and that of their children. Then the defendants filed false returns electronically, reporting false wages, false Social Security benefits and false 1099 withholding amounts typically exceeding $10,000, according to the indictment.

Collectively, they filed more than 40 false tax returns and received fraudulent returns totaling approximately $436,036, according to the indictment.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after reviewing factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation.  In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

The investigating agency in this case is the Internal Revenue Service in Toledo.  The case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Alissa M. Sterling

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  Defendants are entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated March 12, 2015