Tampa Woman Sentenced to More Than Four Years for Tax Fraud
TAMPA, FL—U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven today sentenced Erica Lambert (31, Tampa) to four years and two months in federal prison for conspiracy to defraud the United States Treasury, and to commit wire fraud in connection with filing fraudulent tax returns. She was also ordered to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $499,923. Lambert pleaded guilty on July 25, 2014.
According to court documents, Lambert, along with others, electronically filed tax returns using stolen and fraudulently obtained means of identification. Lambert and her co-conspirators kept track of the fraudulent returns and refunds in detailed ledgers that were found at Lambert’s residence. The fraudulent tax refunds were issued in the form of U.S. Treasury checks and debit cards in other individuals’ names. Lambert and her co-conspirators used the refunds to obtain cash and goods for their personal use.
On January 21, 2014, co-conspirator Earl Rojelio Blanchett was sentenced to 10 years and four months in federal prison for his role in this tax fraud scheme. According to court documents, Blanchett sold seven Treasury checks, with a face value of more than $77,000, to undercover law enforcement agents.
This case was investigated by the FBI, IRS—Criminal Investigation, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, and the Tampa Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kelley Howard-Allen.