A Charlotte woman was sentenced Wednesday to 21 months in prison for her involvement in a tax refund fraud scheme.
Leeora Anderson – also known as Leeora Robinson and Lou Robinson – pleaded guilty in February 2012 to one count of false claims conspiracy.
U.S. District Judge Frank Whitney ordered Anderson, 42, to pay $202,577 in restitution to Internal Revenue Service.
“Tax fraudsters like Anderson pocket money by defrauding the government and leave the rest of us to pick up the tab,” U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins said. “Tax fraud will not be tolerated, and we will make sure tax fraudsters pay the price… both financially and in prison time.”
Federal prosecutors accused Anderson of participating in a false tax refund conspiracy by obtaining, or helping others obtain, fraudulent tax refunds from the IRS based on false tax returns.
Anderson’s scheme resulted in the filing of 57 false tax returns that falsely claimed about $331,949 as refunds from the U.S. government.
Anderson recruited individuals to file fraudulent federal income tax returns using their own names and Social Security numbers, according to prosecutors. She created fictitious W-2 forms for the recruited individuals. The forms contained fictitious names of employers and fabricated amounts of wages and withholdings.
Anderson sometimes accompanied the recruited individuals to tax preparers’ offices where the individuals had tax returns prepared and filed electronically, prosecutors said. The recruited individuals would then file for refund anticipation loans through the tax preparer. That allowed the recruited individuals to receive cash advances on their false tax refunds.
Anderson then accompanied the recruited individuals to pick up the refund loan checks and to cash them at check cashing services.
Anderson and others would then keep a portion of the loan proceeds, prosecutors said.
Wright: 704 358-5052
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