A California couple faces up to 10 years in prison after admitting to their role in the scam.
A California couple pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States by submitting false claims for income tax refunds to the IRS.
According to court documents, between March 2012 and February 2015, William Bennett, 42, and Christina Bennett, 38, of Sacramento, California, conspired with Bridget Coilton, 50, also of Sacramento, to defraud the IRS by submitting false claims for income tax refunds for themselves and for others.
According to the plea agreements, Coilton allegedly provided William Bennett with personally identifying information of other people, and he would file tax returns for those people claiming false, inflated tax refunds based on false statements he added to the returns. The false returns contained false claims. For example, the tax returns contained false and fraudulent statements regarding employment, income, withholdings from income, and dependency exemptions. Some of the federal tax returns also sought tax credits to which the individuals on the returns were not entitled.
The fraudulent statements resulted in refunds that were often directed to be deposited into bank accounts the Bennetts or Coilton controlled. After the IRS issued the refunds, the trio divided the proceeds among themselves, sometimes providing the tax filer with a small portion of the refund.
The charges against Coilton are pending.
William Bennett and Christina Bennett each face up to of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.