Erie Sisters Charged in Fraud Scheme
ERIE, Pa. - Two residents of Erie, Pennsylvania, have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Erie on charges of conspiracy to defraud the government, theft of government property, aggravated identity theft and false claims against the United States, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
The twenty-nine-count indictment named Chamere Henderson, 35 and Chamell Henderson, 35, as defendants.
According to the indictment presented to the court, between February 2012 and March 2013, Chamere Henderson filed three fraudulent tax returns by stealing the identities of individuals. The refunds from the tax returns were wired into a bank account to which her sister, Chamell Henderson, had access. Chamell Henderson then removed the refunds from the account in cash. The indictment also alleges that Chamere Henderson filed numerous other false federal tax returns for taxpayers who were unaware that Chamere Henderson had included false information on their returns.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 96 years in prison, a fine of $7,250,000, or both for Chamere Henderson and a maximum total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $500,000, or both for Chamell Henderson. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.
Assistant United States Attorney Christian A. Trabold is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.