This week, four defendants, who used fraudulent state tax returns to steal almost $25,000 from the State of Georgia, entered guilty pleas before Judge Thomas Campbell in Fulton County Superior Court.
On February 3, 2014, Kimberly Banks, of Atlanta, pled guilty to one count of Racketeering (O.C.G.A. §16-14-4(c)) and one count of Theft by Taking (O.C.G.A. § 16-8-2). On February 5, 2014, Monique Bussey, of Atlanta, pled guilty to one count of Racketeering and one count of Theft by Taking and Brittany Banks and Shaneka Richards, both of Atlanta, pled guilty to Theft by Taking.
The scheme involved filing tax returns for individuals who do not live or work in Georgia and without their knowledge or consent. Information about the victims was used to file fake tax returns so as to generate Department of Revenue (DOR) tax refund checks. The refund checks would be mailed to various addresses of the conspirators, and subsequently deposited into the bank account of one of the conspirators.
Kimberly Banks was sentenced to five years imprisonment, five years probation and restitution in the amount of $24,908. Brittany Banks was sentenced under the First Offender Act to three years probation and restitution in the amount of $3436. Monique Bussey was sentenced under the First Offender Act to 10 years probation and restitution in the amount of $24,908. Shaneka Richards was sentenced to six months imprisonment, two and a half years probation and restitution in the amount of $3436.
The fifth defendant, Melissa Helm, of Jonesboro, Ga., pled guilty to Racketeering and Theft by Taking on December 13, 2013, and was sentenced to one year imprisonment and four years probation.
Assistant Attorney General Greg Lohmeier prosecuted the case on behalf of the State of Georgia. The case was investigated by Special Agent Alan Dickinson of the DOR Office of Special Investigations.