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Press Release

South Arkansas Tax Fraud Scheme Draws Over Eleven Years of Federal Imprisonment for Conspirators

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Arkansas

El Dorado, Arkansas - Kenneth Elser, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Gregory A. Taylor, age 51 of Clanton, Alabama, was sentenced on Monday to 66 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Defraud the United States. Along with his co-defendants, Taylor was ordered to pay $1,274,163.84 in restitution. Taylor was one of eight defendants indicted in 2014 as part of an investigation into a tax fraud and identity theft scheme in El Dorado and Crossett. Taylor pled guilty in December 2015. The Honorable Susan O. Hickey presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in El Dorado.

According to court records, between 2009 and 2011 Taylor conspired with his co-defendants to defraud the United States by filing fraudulent income tax returns using the personal identifying information of others. During 2011, IRS-CI, U.S. Secret Service, and the El Dorado Police Department obtained evidence that Taylor and his co-defendants were involved in a large scale identity theft and tax refund scheme. As a part of the scheme, the co-defendants would use the names, social security numbers, and dates of birth, of numerous individuals to claim fraudulent tax refunds from the federal government. The evidence revealed that Taylor, a return preparer in Crossett, Arkansas, was working with and assisting his co-defendants with the filing of fraudulent tax returns to obtain false refunds. As part of his plea agreement, Taylor admitted that as a result of the conspiracy, he and his co-defendants fraudulently claimed refunds totaling $1,101,478. Other members of the conspiracy admitted to filing at least 665 fraudulent tax returns requesting more than $2,300,000.00 in refunds.

Taylor’s co-defendants Shawna D. Carey, Clarisse Carey, and Erica Browning were sentenced in January, 2016 to a total of 77 months imprisonment. Co-defendants Venus Ford, Sanjana Aaron, Whitney Charles, and Ecko Scott have pled guilty to their part of the conspiracy and await sentencing.

“Misusing his position of trust as a tax return preparer, Mr. Taylor knowingly used stolen identities to file false tax returns with the IRS. ” said Tracey D. Montaño, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. “The sentence handed down highlights the seriousness of the defendant’s conduct. We will remain vigilant in identifying and investigating those who seek to defraud the American taxpayers by stealing identities and filing false tax returns.”

The investigation was conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation, U.S. Secret Service, El Dorado Police Department, and the Crossett Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan Ross and Brice White prosecuted the case for the United States.

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Related court documents may be found on the Public Access to Electronic Records website @

Updated June 14, 2017