Clermont Woman Sentenced for Tax Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft
ORLANDO, FL—United States District Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr. has sentenced Tanya Fox to 20 years in federal prison for conspiracy to defraud the federal government, wire fraud, theft of government property, and aggravated identity theft. Fox was immediately taken into custody. The Court also entered a money judgment in the amount of $4,055,735, which relates to the amount of fraudulent tax refunds that Fox and her co-conspirators had received.
On July 24, 2014, following a four-day trial, a federal jury found her guilty of one count of conspiracy, five counts of wire fraud, ten counts of theft of government property, and ten counts of aggravated identity theft.
During the trial, evidence was introduced to show that Fox had orchestrated a scheme to file fraudulent tax returns using identities that had been stolen from a variety of sources. Fox directed other individuals to open business bank accounts in the name of a fraudulent tax preparation business and to have the tax refunds deposited into those accounts. She then worked with those individuals to withdraw the funds and spend the money. Fox attempted to receive approximately $5.8 million in fraudulent tax returns and was successful in receiving more than $4 million during the course of the scheme.
According to the testimony at trial, Fox spent the money received from the fraudulent tax returns to purchase several luxury and other vehicles. The United States has seized each of these vehicles. She also used proceeds from these offenses to have cosmetic surgery on two occasions and to open a restaurant in the Orlando area.
Previously, Shanterica Smith, Gerald Williams, and Delray Duncan pleaded guilty and were sentenced for providing approximately 2,400 names from the Orange County Health Department to Fox so that she and her co-conspirators could file the fraudulent tax returns. Smith was sentenced to five years in prison, Williams was sentenced to four years and six months in prison, and Duncan was sentenced to three years and six in prison. A fifth co-defendant, April Cuyler, also pleaded guilty for her role in this scheme; she was sentenced to two years and six months in prison.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn P. Napier.