A Georgia couple has been convicted of tax fraud for falsely obtaining tax refunds totaling $229,305. A federal jury in Ft. Lauderdale has convicted Elmo Antonio George and Nasheba Necia Hunte of Villa Rica, GA of conspiracy to defraud the IRS and filing false tax returns, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ) press release. At sentencing, each defendant will face possible prison time of up to 11 years as well as a maximum $750,000 fine.
In a fairly elaborate scheme, George and Hunte created Florida shell corporations — Winco Holdings Inc., Ministry of Dikingdom Inc., and Dikingdom Inc. — for which they opened checking and credit card accounts. The two then used a payroll service to produce false documents and income tax returns, which included fabricated salaries, losses, and withholdings that they then filed with the IRS.
George and Hunte claimed to have earned more than $4 million and to have paid more than $1.6 million in federal withholdings from Winco Holdings, Inc. In fact, they had paid no withholding to the IRS. They submitted a faked promissory note and a bad check for $1.6 million trying to keep the scheme going.
Based on the false return, George received a refund for 2005 of $229,305, and the defendants worked together to conceal the scheme, even claiming that a home they transferred to the Overseer of Dikingdom was a church. In the face of an IRS criminal investigation, Hunte attempted to evade investigators by claiming a non-existent address and, once found, denying who she was.
Waters & Kraus is a national firm with highly skilled lawyers practicing qui tam litigation in four offices, including Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Baltimore. Our attorneys have decades of experience successfully representing whistleblowers in a variety of fraud cases. Contact us or call our attorneys at 800.226.9880 to learn more about our practice and how we can assist.