PEORIA, Ill. – A Chicago man is found guilty for his role in a tax fraud scheme that cost the government $1.5 million.
During the five days of trial, the government presented evidence showing 44 year-old Clifton “Ty” Robinson, and four others, were responsible for filing more than 300 false federal income tax returns for the 2011 through 2014 tax years.
While some people knowingly provided their information for use in preparing the false returns, others had no idea how their information had been obtained. Evidence showed that some people sold their dependents’ information to Robinson for use on other individuals’ tax returns. Robinson used other members of the conspiracy to obtain information from other people and to provide “safe” addresses for returns. Refunds from the fake returns were deposited to bank accounts and prepaid debit cards controlled by members of the conspiracy.
As a result of the more than 300 false returns filed, Robinson and others claimed more than $1.8 million in refunds. About $1.5 million, out of the $1.8 million, was paid out by the U.S. Treasury.
Prior to the trial, four additional defendants pleaded guilty to the conspiracy to defraud the government, they include three defendants from Peoria, 42 year-old Monique Bonner, 30 year-old Brieanna Kinney-Bonner, and 36 year-old Tawanda Davis. The fourth defendant to plead guilty is 43 year-old Velma Robertson, of La Grange, Illinois.
Robinson is currently in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. Sentencing for Robinson, Kinney-Bonner, and Davis is scheduled for September 4 while sentencing for Robertson is set for July 25.
The statutory penalty for conspiracy to defraud the government is up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. In addition to the conspiracy count, Robinson faces statutory penalties for five counts of mail fraud and eight counts wire fraud of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.