KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former Grandview, Mo., woman was sentenced in federal court today for filing a false claim for a federal tax refund as part of a nearly $158,000 scheme.
Kelsey R. Jones, 35, of Houston, Texas (formerly of Grandview), was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to 18 months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Jones to pay $102,879 in restitution.
On Oct. 18, 2013, Jones pleaded guilty to making a false claim. Jones admitted that she filed 36 false individual income tax returns on behalf of herself and others, claiming approximately $157,998 in refunds, from February 2009 to January 2011. The $102,879 restitution payment represents the amount of fraudulent tax refunds that were actually paid out by the government.
Jones recruited individuals to file federal income tax returns under their own names. Jones created false and fictitious inflated income and revenue information for the individuals. Jones then used the false information to prepare and file fraudulent federal tax returns electronically with the IRS, which often claimed tax credits, such as the earned income tax credit, to which the individuals were not entitled.
Jones often had a portion of the fraudulent refunds – totaling $17,292 – direct deposited into one of her bank accounts, sometimes without the taxpayers’ knowledge.This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jess Michaelsen. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.