Man, Woman Sentenced for Tax Refund Conspiracy
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that two defendants have been sentenced in federal court for their roles in a tax refund conspiracy.
Theresa R. Gee, 45, of Kansas City, Mo., and Nathaniel J. Justice, 54, of Las Vegas, Nev., but formerly of Kansas City, Mo., have been sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner. Gee was sentenced today to 20 months in federal prison without parole. Justice was sentenced on Dec. 15, 2016, to three years and four months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Gee and Justice to pay $93,951 in restitution, for which they are jointly and severally liable.
Gee and Justice have each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the government. Gee and Justice admitted that they participated in a conspiracy from March 29, 2011, to Feb. 10, 2013, to submit false claims for federal income tax refunds.
The tax refund scheme involved the creation of false and fraudulent Form W-2s. The false W-2 forms reported fictitious employer information, fictitious income, fictitious income tax withholdings, fictitious dependents and other false information. Gee and Justice provided false W-2 forms to others (“filers”) who would then use the false W-2s to fraudulently file for federal and state income tax returns. Sometimes they would escort the filer inside H&R Block and assist the filer in the preparation of the fraudulent tax forms.
Gee and Justice recruited filers into the conspiracy through family relationships, friendships and other personal contacts. Conspirators promised each filer a portion or percentage of the illegally obtained refund. Gee and Justice also paid a fee – typically $500 – to those who referred a filer who was willing to participate in the scheme.
At the completion of the tax preparation process Gee and Justice retained the filer’s Emerald Card. (The Emerald Card would access an ATM account upon which the return would automatically be downloaded.) Gee and Justice withdrew the refunds, gave a portion of each refund to the filer and kept a substantial portion for themselves.
This case was prosecuted by Senior Litigation Counsel Gregg Coonrod. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.