12 Charged With Federal Tax Crimes - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

12 Charged With Federal Tax Crimes

Posted: Updated:
STATESBORO, GA -

The federal grand jury sitting in Savannah, Georgia returned six indictments Tuesday charging 12 defendants with 115 violations of federal law involving fraudulent tax returns.  The federal crimes charged in these indictments range from a conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service to identity theft from medical records.  All of these indictments allege that the defendants illicitly obtained personal identifiers, such as names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers, and used these means of identification to prepare and submit fraudulent tax returns in order to obtain tax refunds which were then converted to the defendants' use. 

     Based on these federal charges and related state crimes, law enforcement officials are arresting 21 individuals today in Georgia, one defendant in Ohio, and one defendant in Florida, who are listed below.  These arrests are part of the same long-term investigation which led to multiple search warrants being executed in Statesboro, Georgia in September 2012.  Initial federal court appearances for the federally indicted defendants who were arrested in Statesboro, Georgia are scheduled for April 4, 2013 in Savannah, Georgia.

 

     United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver said, "These indictments and arrests demonstrate the commitment of the United States Attorney's Office to protecting the privacy of medical records and the hard-earned money of honest taxpayers.  While April 15th is traditionally seen as the end of tax season, this investigation is ongoing.  Our law enforcement partners will continue to trace electronically-filed fraudulent tax returns to track down these identity thieves and put them in handcuffs."

            IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Veronica Hyman-Pillot said, "Today's announcement exemplifies IRS Criminal Investigation's intense focus and rigorous pursuit of perpetrators of identity theft and refund fraud.  IRS is extremely grateful for the cooperation and assistance we have received from our partners at the local, state and federal level. Be assured that IRS Criminal Investigation, with our law enforcement partners, will continue to be proactive in the investigation of those individuals who engage in similar behavior."

 

            Mark F. Giuliano, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated, "Today's extensive joint law enforcement actions resulting in almost two dozen arrests demonstrates the growing problem involving tax refund related fraud and, more importantly, the growing law enforcement response to address it.  The FBI will continue to work with its various law enforcement partners, to include providing additional resources, to disrupt such groups engaged in these types of tax fraud activities."

 

            Statesboro Director of Public Safety Wendell Turner said, "The Statesboro Police Department has been working with our local and federal counterparts to apprehend the persons responsible for defrauding the government and individuals through a variety of criminal schemes. We are very proud of these partnerships and the results they yield for our citizens. This investigation is just another example of everyone working together, sharing resources, information and expertise for the common good of our  community."

 

            If convicted, each federal defendant faces a maximum penalty of twenty years imprisonment for the conspiracy charge, twenty years imprisonment for each count of filing fraudulent tax returns, ten years imprisonment for the charge of misusing medical records, and a two-year mandatory, consecutive prison sentence for each charge of aggravated identity theft.  Each of these charges also carries a fine of up to $250,000.

 

            United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver emphasized that an indictment is only an accusation and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  

 

            FBI Special Agent Marcus Kirkland, IRS Special Agent Gwen Weston, and SPD Sgt. James Winskey, assisted by their agencies' colleagues, are conducting the investigation which led to these indictments and arrests.  Also assisting in today's arrests are the U.S. Secret Service, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Georgia State Probation Office, and the sheriff's offices for Bulloch and Richmond counties.  Assistant United States Attorneys David Stewart and Lamont A. Belk are the federal prosecutors in these cases.  For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 341-7842.

 

List of 12 Federal Defendants with their age and current residence

 

ERICA BALDWIN, 31, of Statesboro, Georgia 

 

TRACY DENSON, 44, of Statesboro, Georgia

 

SHAKITA EASON, 30, of Statesboro, Georgia

 

YOLANDA EDMOND, 36, of Statesboro, Georgia

 

GLORIA EVANS, 44, of Statesboro, Georgia

 

JOSHUA MINCEY, 20, of Statesboro, Georgia

 

PORSCHE PINKNEY, 19, of Augusta, Georgia

 

DWAN SCOTT, 32, of Statesboro, Georgia

 

JENNA SCOTT, 28, of Jacksonville, Florida

 

GREGORY SMITH, 21, of Statesboro, Georgia

 

TIDAESHA TAYLOR, 27, of College Park, Georgia

 

ANDREA WEBB, 31,of Register, Georgia

 

List of 11 Individuals Arrested on State Warrants with their age and current residence

 

SANTRAVIS JERROD BROWN, 23, of Statesboro, Georgia

 

REGINALD RAYNARD ELLISON, 29, of Statesboro, Georgia

 

SANCHEZ ORTEGA HARDEN, 28, of Statesboro, Georgia

 

CHRYSTAL N. HARLIE, 32, of Statesboro, Georgia

 

VICTORIA QUINN JOHNSON (BALDWIN), 28, of Statesboro, Georgia

 

SEAN LEE, 34, of Statesboro, Georgia

 

MYRON KELSEY RAWLS, 30, of Statesboro, Georgia

 

VERA RICHMOND, 69, of Statesboro, Georgia

 

LANIKA LOYONDA WALDEN (MINCEY), 37, of Statesboro, Georgia

 

MELISSA SHANTEL WHITFIELD, 33, of Statesboro, Georgia

 

LASHARETT GENET WILKERSON, 30, of Statesboro, Georgia

 

This article was published with information released by the Department Of Justice.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • UPDATE: Ft. Stewart Soldier Killed in Fl. Plane Crash, Daughter Critically Injured

    UPDATE: Ft. Stewart Soldier Killed in Fl. Plane Crash, Daughter Critically Injured

    Monday, July 28 2014 1:49 PM EDT2014-07-28 17:49:01 GMT
    A Georgia man is dead and his 9-year-old daughter is in the hospital with critical injuries after they were hit by a small plane that made an emergency landing on a Florida Gulf Coast beach.The Piper Cherokee crash-landed Sunday afternoon, losing a wheel and smashing a propeller.The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office identifies the victims as 36-year-old Ommy Irizarry and his daughter Oceana.Officials tell the Sarasota Herald-Tribune the victims were either hit by the plane or its debris.Stay t...
    A Georgia man is dead and his 9-year-old daughter is in the hospital with critical injuries after they were hit by a small plane that made an emergency landing on a Florida Gulf Coast beach.The Piper Cherokee crash-landed Sunday afternoon, losing a wheel and smashing a propeller.The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office identifies the victims as 36-year-old Ommy Irizarry and his daughter Oceana.Officials tell the Sarasota Herald-Tribune the victims were either hit by the plane or its debris.Stay t...
  • Knoxville meteorologist's response to viewer goes viral

    Knoxville meteorologist's response to viewer goes viral

    A Knoxville meteorologist responded to a viewer’s letter on Facebook because there was no return address, and the post went viral.
    A Knoxville meteorologist responded to a viewer’s letter on Facebook because there was no return address, and the post went viral.
  • Sheriff's Office showcases "Faces of Meth" program as a lesson to all

    Sheriff's Office showcases "Faces of Meth" program as a lesson to all

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:33 AM EDT2014-07-21 15:33:26 GMT
    Faces of Meth™ is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office in Oregon. This project began when a deputy in the Corrections Division Classification Unit, Deputy Bret King, put together mug shots of persons booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center. Deputy King worked with his co-workers in the Classification Unit to identify people who had been in custody more than once. He then worked to verify criminal records and files to determine and assure a history of methamphetamine re...
    Faces of Meth™ is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office in Oregon. This project began when a deputy in the Corrections Division Classification Unit, Deputy Bret King, put together mug shots of persons booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center. Deputy King worked with his co-workers in the Classification Unit to identify people who had been in custody more than once. He then worked to verify criminal records and files to determine and assure a history of methamphetamine re...
Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.