Buckeye woman gets 3 years in prison for tax-refund scheme

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PHOENIX -- A Buckeye woman was sentenced Friday to 36 months in prison for her involvement in a tax-refund scheme.

Latricia Williams pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to commit false claims, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

An indictment alleged Williams and two others devised a scheme to get fraudulent tax refunds by using stolen identities of disabled individuals and by falsely claiming tax credits under the First Time Home Buyer Credit program.
As part of her guilty plea, Williams admitted that she and two others used the stolen identities to file 180 tax returns to falsely claim more than $1 million in tax refunds.

Williams also admitted that they concealed their fraud by filing tax returns electronically using their neighbors' unsecured wireless networks, directing the refunds to prepaid debit card accounts they had obtained under false identities, and recruiting friends and associates to receive the prepaid debit cards by mail at various addresses.