Houston Woman Heads to Prison for Fraud
HOUSTON – A 44-year-old Houston resident has been ordered to federal prison following her conviction of theft of government money, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Sheiletta McGrew pleaded guilty Sept. 17, 2018.
Today, U.S. District Judge Vanessa D. Gilmore ordered McGrew to serve a total 24-month sentence to be immediately followed by two years of supervised release. She was further ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $144,943.
McGrew owned a tax preparation business called BABY STEPS 4 ME which she operated from her Houston residence. At the time of her plea, McGrew admitted she unlawfully acquired the personal identifying information (PII) of numerous individuals to include names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and other sensitive personal information. She then used the unlawfully acquired PII to file false and fraudulent income tax returns with the IRS.
McGrew submitted the fraudulent returns without the consent of the taxpayers listed on the returns and requested the refunds be directly deposited into bank accounts she controlled.
McGrew admitted she filed at least 82 fraudulent returns during this scheme and received fraudulent refunds in the amount of $257,765.
McGrew was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
IRS-Criminal Investigation (CI) conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Hileman is prosecuting the case.