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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 22, 2015

Buffalo Man Pleads Guilty To Tax Fraud Scheme

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE:  (716) 843-5817
FAX #:                 (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Kalah Bishop, 27, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty today to access device fraud before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Maura K. O’Donnell, who is handling the case, stated that beginning in 2012, the defendant and her associates filed fraudulent federal and New York State income tax returns for more than 49 individuals. The tax refunds were deposited onto debit cards, which were then used by Bishop and her associates to make purchases and withdraw cash.

The tax refunds received by the defendant and her associates totaled $435,064.  Bishop will be required to pay restitution of $416,192 to the Internal Revenue Service, and $18,872 to the New York State Department of Finance.

The plea is the culmination of an investigation by Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Special Agent-In-Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen, and investigators from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, Criminal Investigations Division, under the direction of Michael Szrama.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 11, 2015 before Judge Arcara.

Updated May 26, 2015