HOUSTON – With the guilty plea of Tarmera Rene Wyckoff aka Toni Wyckoff today, three people have now been convicted in relation to a tax fraud scheme involving more than $2 million, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
Wyckoff pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, conspiracy to make false claims to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and making a false claim to the IRS. Two others – Cheryl Reed Johnson aka Shawnee Reed or Cheryl Reed and Carey Jermaine Johnson aka Jermaine Johnson had previously entered pleas to the same charges.
The scheme for which they each now stand convicted involved the electronic submission of federal tax returns in the names of numerous individuals, each of which falsely claimed tax credits and resulted in a refund. The defendants directed most of those refunds into their bank accounts or those of their co-conspirators.
They claimed more than $2.26 million in false first time home buyer credits on the 2008 returns filed with the IRS which resulted in more than $2.3 million in fraudulent refunds. The United States is seeking restitution of at least $1.7 million for refunds distributed on these false claims.
Carey Johnson will be sentenced in December 2014, while Cheryl Johnson and Wyckoff are set for the following month. At their respective hearings, they each face up to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit mail or wire fraud, a maximum of 10 years for conspiracy to make false claims to the IRS and another possible five years for making a false claim to obtain a tax refund. All convictions also carry a possible $250,000 fine.
This investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Annis is prosecuting.