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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 23, 2014

Four Metroeast Women Indicted For Participating In Fraudulent Tax Refund Scheme

A federal grand jury returned an eight-count indictment on October 22, 2014, charging four metro-east women with participating in a scheme to submit false claims for federal tax refunds, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.

Sylvia Baker, 30, from Fairview Heights and Alicia Jackson, 40, from Belleville, are charged with participating in a conspiracy to defraud the United States by making false claims for tax refunds to the Internal Revenue Service by submitting false federal income tax returns. Sylvia Baker is also charged in five additional counts of submitting false tax returns for others and is charged with making a false statement to the Internal Revenue Service when interviewed during the criminal investigation. She faces a prison sentence of up to 40 years, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to 3 years’ supervised release after serving her sentence, and mandatory restitution. Alicia Jackson is also charged in two additional counts for making false claims for federal tax refunds and faces a prison sentence of up to 20 years, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to 3 years’ supervised release after serving her sentence, as well as mandatory restitution. Lamarion Shanes, 32, from East St. Louis, is charged in two counts of making false claims for federal tax refunds and faces a prison sentence of up to 20 years, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to 3 years’ supervised release after serving her sentence, and mandatory restitution. Sylvin Baker, 58, from East St. Louis, is charged in one count of making a false claim for a federal tax refund in submitting a false federal income tax return and faces a prison sentence of up to 5 years, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to 3 years’ supervised release after serving her sentence, as well as mandatory restitution.

An indictment is a formal charge. A defendant is presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The prosecution is the result of an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service/Criminal Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Norman R. Smith.

Updated February 19, 2015