Tulsa Wife and Husband Sentenced in Tax Fraud Scheme
TULSA, Okla.—A Tulsa woman was sentenced to 30 months in prison for her role in a fraudulent tax return scheme that falsely generated refunds totaling over $472,000 from the United States Treasury.
United States Attorney Danny C. Williams Sr. of the Northern District of Oklahoma, Special Agent in Charge Damon Rowe of the IRS-Criminal Investigation Dallas Field Office, and Resident Agent in Charge Ted Maliga of the United States Secret Service Tulsa Office made the announcement.
Chanesha Makala Jones, 33, and her husband Cory Mack Jones, 37, were each charged by a superseding indictment on May 5, 2015, and in August 2015, both defendants pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the government and two counts of false claims against the government.
In November 2015, Cory Jones was sentenced to 24 months in prison, and ordered to repay $472,021 as restitution to the Internal Revenue Service which today the court also ordered Chanesha Jones to pay.
According to court documents filed in the case, from January 2010 to April 2012, Chanesha and Cory Jones filed false tax returns using stolen personally identifiable information of various individuals. As part of the scheme, Chanesha Jones obtained personal information from living individuals, and Cory Jones obtained personal information of deceased individuals. Cory Jones used false income and employment information along with the genuine personal information obtained to create fraudulent tax returns. Chanesha Jones admitted to submitting two of the fraudulent tax returns to the IRS.
Based on the false personal information, each fraudulent tax return qualified for the refundable Earned Income Credit, generating tax refunds which the IRS deposited into either the bank account of Cory Jones or the bank account of a friend of the Joneses. The friend would then pay the money to the Joneses and Chanesha and Cory Jones would share the refund money between themselves. They would also pay some of the refund money to the individuals whose personal information they used to create the fraudulent tax returns.
The case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorneys Kevin Leitch and Clemon Ashley prosecuted the case.