Three Sacramento women have been indicted for allegedly participating in a tax fraud scheme.
Nadiyah Muhammad Woods, 33, Nakia Renee Vaughn, 26, and Tomisha Lee McKinnie, 24, were charged by a federal grand jury in Sacramento on Thursday for conspiracy to file false tax returns and get tax refunds, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.
The three women are accused of using stolen identities to file false tax returns using Turbo Tax, an online tax filing service. Turbo Tax loaded Green Dot debit cards with the tax refunds of taxpayer victims. The women then activated the debit cards and withdrew money from them, according to the indictment.
The alleged fraudulent tax returns filed by the three women amounted to more than $1.36 million. The IRS paid $962,079.
Authorities said the scheme involved more than 280 false tax returns and many victim taxpayers.
Woods was arraigned today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman and pleaded not guilty. During a prior bail hearing, Woods was released on bond with a condition that she live under supervision at a community confinement facility.
Vaughn and McKinnie are to be arraigned Monday. Because both have been on probation for unrelated state crimes during the period of the alleged conspiracy and mail fraud scheme operation, they have been denied bail and are being held in Sacramento County Jail, officials said.
The case resulted from an investigation by the IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Department of Treasury, Office of the Inspector General for Tax Administration and the United States Postal Service, with the cooperation of the Sacramento Police Department and Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.