Fort Lauderdale Father and Daughter Convicted at Trial for Involvement in $100 Million Fraudulent Tax Refund Scheme
Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Michael J. De Palma, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI); Anthony Ramirez, Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), Miami Field Office; George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Miami Field Office; and James S. Jackson, Deputy Inspector General for Investigations, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) announced that a West Palm Beach federal jury convicted Danielle Takeila Edmonson, 35, and Kenneth Roger Edmonson, 51, both of Fort Lauderdale, Florida for their involvement in a scheme that involved the filing of false and fraudulent tax returns seeking large-dollar tax refunds.
According to the evidence presented at trial, from 2015 through 2018, D. Edmonson and K. Edmonson filed large-dollar tax refund claims with the IRS totaling over $100 million, including individual refund claims ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to as high as eighty million dollars. Despite the false nature of the claims, the Department of Treasury paid out approximately $3.4 million in refunds through the issuance of U.S. Treasury checks.
In addition, D. Edmonson filed a fraudulent tax return seeking a large refund for tax year 2014, falsely indicating on handwritten forms that she had paid taxes of over $300,000. The IRS did not receive any corresponding forms to support the payment of any of these taxes. Despite the false nature of the tax return, the Department of Treasury issued a tax refund check for $239,700 in 2015. D. Edmonson deposited this tax refund check into her bank account and used the funds to purchase a luxury vehicle.
D. Edmonson also filed fraudulent tax returns for each of tax years 2015, 2016, and 2017, seeking refunds of approximately $80 million, $2.4 million, and $9 million, respectively. These tax returns contained forms falsely claiming that she had paid over $145 million in taxes during this period. The IRS did not receive any corresponding forms to support the payment of any of these taxes. Despite the false nature of the tax returns, the Department of Treasury issued a tax refund check to K. Edmonson in the amount of $2,405,703 on September 4, 2017. D. Edmonson subsequently deposited this tax refund check into her bank account.
In September 2017, K. Edmonson filed a fraudulent tax return seeking a refund of approximately $725,111. The return contained false and fraudulent claims that he had paid a substantial amount of withholding taxes. The IRS did not receive corresponding forms to support the claimed payments. Despite the false nature of the tax return, on January 28, 2018, the Department of Treasury mailed a tax refund check to K. Edmonson for $734,266.27 (including interest). Shortly thereafter, K. Edmonson deposited this tax refund check into his bank account.
Trial evidence also established that in January 2018, law enforcement conducted a search of the Edmonson residence. During the search, in the bedrooms of D. Edmonson and K. Edmonson, law enforcement found letters addressed to both individuals warning them of the frivolous nature of their returns. Shortly after law enforcement left, despite warnings not to do so, K. Edmonson went to his bank to attempt to withdraw the funds from the account that received the fraudulent refund check.
D. Edmonson was convicted four counts of filing false, fictitious and fraudulent claims, two counts of mail fraud, and one count of false statements. She faces maximum statutory sentence of 65 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for February 20, 2020, at 10:00 a.m., before U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg.
K. Edmonson was convicted at trial of two counts of filing false, fraudulent, and fictitious claims, one count of mail fraud, and one count of false statements. He faces a maximum statutory sentence of 35 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for February 20, 2020, at 2:00 p.m., before Judge Rosenberg.
U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended IRS-CI, DSS, FBI and TIGTA for their work on the case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael N. Berger and Adrienne Rosen.