Defendants Sentenced In Tax Refund Conspiracy Case
DALLAS — Today, Shaunthina Daniel Rushing was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis to 56 months in federal prison, following her guilty plea in March 2013 to one count of conspiracy to file false claims. Her co-conspirator, Tommy Dean Turner, was sentenced in June 2013 to 36 months in federal prison; he pleaded guilty in February 2013 to the same offense. In addition, Judge Solis ordered that Rushing and Turner pay, jointly and severally, $365,626 in restitution. The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
According to factual resumes filed in the cases, Rushing and Turner conspired together and with others to file approximately 50 fraudulent tax returns that resulted in more than $400,000 in false claims. The returns included Forms 5405, representing that the taxpayers were entitled to claim a First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit (FTHTC) under the provisions of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.
That refundable tax credit could be claimed if a person purchased a main home in the U.S. after April 8, 2008, and before December 1, 2009, and if the person (and spouse, if married) did not own any other main home during the previous three years of the date of purchase. Qualifying taxpayers who purchased a home between January 1, 2009, and December 1, 2009, could claim up to $8,000 as the FTHBC.
Rushing and Turner admitted, according to the factual resumes filed in the case, that they caused bank accounts to be opened to receive the fraudulent tax refund checks, obtained and disbursed the proceeds among themselves and others and maintained detailed records and logs that identified the fraudulent tax returns, the money received and the disbursement of proceeds.
Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Nicholas Bunch and DOJ Trial Attorney Robert Kemins prosecuted.