KC Woman Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud Scheme
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., woman pleaded guilty in federal court today to her role in a fraudulent tax return scheme that claimed $433,365 in fraudulent income tax refunds.
Marquita R. Murray, 37, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips to her role in a conspiracy to defraud the government and to making false claims.
By pleading guilty today, Murray admitted that she participated in a conspiracy to defraud the United States by submitting false claims for income tax refunds from January 2009 to February 2012. The tax refund scheme involved the creation of false and fraudulent W-2 forms that reported fictitious employer information, fictitious income, and fictitious income tax withholdings. Conspirators solicited friends and acquaintances to file their tax returns using false W-2 information. These “taxpayers” had little to no legitimate income and would not otherwise have to file tax returns.
The tax refund scheme involved claims against the United States in the approximate amount of $433,365, and resulted in an actual loss of at least $329,000.
Murray provided tax filers with the false W-2 forms, transported tax filers to legitimate tax preparers to electronically file the fraudulent tax returns and transported tax filers to banks and check cashing businesses to obtain cash from the tax returns. Murray also assisted co-conspirators in electronically filing others’ false returns from their home computers.
Murray is the fourth defendant to plead guilty to charges related to the fraud scheme. Demichael A. Johnson, 37, of Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced to two years in federal prison without parole, to be served consecutively to the seven-year sentence Johnson is currently serving in federal prison for drug trafficking. The court also ordered Johnson to pay $67,281 in restitution to the government. Mika Francis, 40, of Lee’s Summit, Mo., and Lashan Brown, 41, of Kansas City, Mo., have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.
Under federal statutes, Murray is subject to a sentence of up to 15 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $500,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Senior Litigation Counsel Gregg Coonrod. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.
Updated February 4, 2016