Texas Women Arrested for Tax Fraud
Mary Ngacha and Harriet Mathita, were arrested yesterday by special agents with the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) on felony charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. In addition, Ngacha is charged with 10 counts of filing false claims against an agency of the U.S. and aiding and abetting. The indictment alleges that from January 2009 through December 2010, the women conspired to obtain substantial income tax refunds by submitting fraudulent income tax returns.
The charges were outlined in an 11-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Dallas earlier this month. Ngacha and Mathita made their initial appearance yesterday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul D. Stickney. Mathita was ordered detained while Nagacha was released on bond.
The indictment alleges that the women were part of a conspiracy that obtained the names and social security numbers of persons on the Indiana sex offender registry, which was available to the public. They then prepared and submitted false income tax returns to the IRS, using the social security numbers and variations of the names on the registry. They also, allegedly, prepared false W-2 forms stating fictitious wages and withholding amounts, as well as false Schedule C forms showing a substantial loss from a sole-proprietorship. They then mailed, or electronically filed, the false returns, requesting that the refunds be either electronically transferred to a bank account or mailed to an address controlled by conspirators.
According to the indictment, Ngacha false tax filings resulted in tax refunds of nearly $3 million for tax years 2008 and 2009.
Today’s announcement was made in a statement by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. The statement notd that an indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury, and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. However it noted that if upon conviction, the conspiracy count carries a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Each of the filing false claims counts carries, upon conviction, a maximum statutory sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Restitution could also be ordered.
The investigation is being conducted by IRS-CI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Stokes is in charge of the prosecution.