Clermont Woman Indicted for Tax Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 25, 2014|
ORLANDO—United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Tanya Fox (38, Clermont) with one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, five counts of wire fraud, 10 counts of theft of government property, and 10 counts of aggravated identity theft. If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment on the conspiracy count, 20 years in prison on the wire fraud counts, 10 years in prison for the theft of government property counts, and an additional two years’ imprisonment for the aggravated identity theft charges, to be served consecutively to any sentence imposed on the previous charges. The indictment also notifies the defendant that the United States is seeking a money judgment of $4,055,735 for the wire fraud and theft of government property charges.
Fox was arrested and made her initial appearance on March 25, 2014, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Philip R. Lammens. She was detained pending further proceedings.
According to the indictment, Fox orchestrated a scheme to file fraudulent tax returns using identities that were stolen from a variety of sources. She would direct other individuals to open business bank accounts in the name of a fraudulent tax preparation business and have the tax refunds deposited into those accounts. Fox would then work with those individuals to withdraw the funds.
Previously, Shanterica Smith, Gerald Williams, and Delray Duncan were convicted and sentenced for providing over 2,200 names from the Orange County Health Department to Fox so that she or a co-conspirator could file more than $3.9 million in fraudulent tax returns. Further, as part of this scheme, Fox purchased a number of automobiles, furniture, and other lifestyle items. In total, the United States alleges that Fox filed attempted to file fraudulent tax returns totaling over $5.8 million.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and the United States Postal Inspection Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn P. Napier.