On January 31, 2013, Tomichi Lee, Rochelle Hunter, Sochie Jordan and Kedrick Lacey pleaded guilty in DeKalb County Superior Court to Violation of the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), O.C.G.A. § 16-14-4(c) for their role in an income tax fraud ring.
The defendants each received and deposited or cashed a fraudulent income tax refund check allegedly issued by co-defendant and former Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) employee Naterica Burkes. Burkes is charged with stealing money from the State of Georgia by creating fraudulent accounts in the DOR computer system and issuing tax refund checks, to herself, former colleagues, family members, friends and associates. Between July 2008 and September 2011, Burkes is accused of issuing 33 illegal tax refunds totaling approximately $200,000.00.
Judge Alan C. Harvey sentenced the defendants. Lee, Hunter and Jordan were sentenced under the First Offender Act to five years probation and 200 hours of community service and were ordered to pay restitution. Lacey, a convicted felon, received 18 months in prison, eight and a half years probation, 200 hours of community service and was ordered to pay restitution
Charges are pending against Burkes and ten other defendants.
Assistant Attorney General Shepard Orlow is prosecuting the case on behalf of the State of Georgia. The case was investigated by Agent Alan Dickinson of the DOR Office of Special Investigations and Agent Jonathan Spurlock with Georgia Bureau of Investigation.