Woman Admits Role in Bilking Government
A Van Nuys woman admitted in federal court Wednesday that she helped bilk the government out of about $500,000 by filing false income tax returns for as many as 200 people, the U.S. district attorney’s office reported.
Sheila Green, 30, was the first of eight defendants to plead guilty in the largest known scheme of its kind in Southern California. She faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $750,000 fine when sentenced Nov. 6.
“I think she realizes what she’s done and is coming forward early to accept her own responsibility for the offense,” said her attorney, Anna Ho.
According to the 77-count indictment, Green was among several recruits who helped distribute W-2 forms that had been filled out with false information so that the Internal Revenue Service would issue larger tax returns than the filers deserved. She received anywhere from a few hundred dollars to more than $1,000 for each form she distributed.
The forms were then submitted to H & R Block, where tax preparers unknowingly sent them in to the IRS. The returns were filed electronically instead of by mail, a three-year-old method that enables the IRS to process returns more quickly but also brought the criminals speedy windfalls.
Trial is set Oct. 28 for the remaining defendants, including Green’s husband, Claudell Green.