Five Indicted Separately in Fraudulent Tax Return Scheme
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania
PITTSBURGH – Five residents of Western Pennsylvania have been separately indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of bank fraud, bank and mail fraud conspiracy and conspiracy to defraud the United States, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.
A two-count indictment returned by the federal grand jury, charging bank and mail fraud conspiracy and conspiracy to defraud the United States named Sean Brooks, 27, currently incarcerated. Three two-count indictments returned by the federal grand jury, charging mail fraud conspiracy and conspiracy to defraud the United States named Amber Eubanks, 27, of Pittsburgh, Brandon Prater 29, currently incarcerated, and Simone Prater, 29, of Pittsburgh, as sole defendants in each indictment. A one-count indictment charging bank fraud named Tyrone Gossett, 63, of Pittsburgh as the sole defendant.
According to the indictments, Sean Brooks, who was, at all material times, incarcerated, prepared and arranged for the filing of more than one hundred fraudulent tax returns on behalf of fellow inmates and other individuals and generated more than $200,000 in fraudulent refunds. The fraudulent refunds were sent to a number of different addresses, and, after forging the endorsement of the payees, the checks were cashed through federally insured financial institutions and through check-cashing establishments. Amber Eubanks, Brandon Prater, Simone Prater, and Tyrone Gossett assisted the conspiracy in a variety of ways, including sending the Internal Revenue Service the fraudulent tax returns, receiving forging, depositing and cashing the fraudulently obtained refund checks, disbursing the proceeds of the fraud amongst the conspirators, and proving personal identification information to Brooks for use in the fraudulent tax returns.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 35 years in prison, a fine of $1,250,000 or both for the charges pending against Sean Brooks. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 25 years in prison, a fine of $500,000 or both for the charges pending against Amber Eubanks, Brandon Prater and Simone Prater. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 30 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000 or both for the charge pending against Tyrone Gossett. 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 Brendan T. Conway is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, United States Postal Inspection Service and the Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations, conducted the investigation leading to the indictments in these cases.
An indictment is an accusation. All the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Updated April 4, 2017