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Press Release

St. Croix Woman Sentenced to Ten Months Federal Prison for Tax Fraud Scheme Involving the Filing of Falsified Tax Returns after Jury Finds her Guilty

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Virgin Islands

St. Croix, USVI – United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced today that Patricia Henry, age 52, was sentenced to ten months incarceration on July 23, 2021 in District Court by Judge Wilma Lewis on one count of Conspiracy to Defraud the United States for her part in a tax fraud scheme. The sentencing follows a five-day jury trial on St. Croix that ended November 17, 2020. Evidence presented at the trial indicated that, as part of a tax fraud scheme, $8,918 was deposited into Patricia Henry’s account, stemming from a false tax return, and $10,068 generated from another false return, also filed in the defendant’s name. The money was transferred to Patricia Henry by her daughter, codefendant, Phiona Henry, after the money was initially deposited into one of Phiona Henry’s bank accounts. An additional $106,382 was also deposited into Phiona’s bank account as part of the fraudulent scheme. Phiona Henry was sentenced to 8 months of federal incarceration on February 26, 2021 after pleading guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Defraud the United States.

According to court documents, Phiona Henry, her mother Patricia Henry, and others participated in a scheme to unlawfully obtain money from the United States treasury by fraudulently acquiring federal income tax refunds during the period from 2010 to 2013. The scheme involved the acquisition of personal identifying information used to electronically file falsified tax returns for tax years 2009 through 2012. Patricia Henry aided others in the filing of tax returns in individuals’ true names and actual social security numbers but falsified the individuals’ income earned, tax withholding amounts, credits, and other information, and thereby claimed refunds to which they were not entitled. Persons involved in the scheme designated bank accounts for receipt of the refunds, which, once received, they subsequently withdrew.

In addition to the term of her incarceration, the Patricia Henry was sentenced to a term of 3 years of supervised release and ordered to pay a mandatory special assessment fee of $100.00, along with restitution to the Internal Revenue Service of $18,986.

The prosecution of this fraud scheme is the result of years of investigative work by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, which identified and dismantled a massive stolen identity refund fraud scheme perpetrated in the Virgin Islands and elsewhere.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Ortiz.

Updated July 30, 2021