Sacto 9-1-1
April 3, 2013
Third defendant sentenced in $1.3 million tax fraud scheme

A Sacramento woman has been sentenced to three years and one month in prison for her role in a $1.3 million tax fraud scheme.

Nadiyah Muhammad Woods, 34, is the last of three defendants to be sentenced in the case, which involved a scheme to obtain tax refunds by filing false tax returns, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. She was sentenced in Sacramento by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller and will be subject to three years of supervised release following her time in prison. Woods also was ordered to pay $902,617 in restitution.

According to court documents, Woods and two other defendants -- Nakia Renee Vaughn, 27, and Tomisha Lee McKinnie, 25, both of Sacramento -- filed false tax returns using TurboTax, an online tax preparation software. To operate the scheme, the defendants obtained Green Dot and other debit cards offered through the TurboTax software that were loaded with the tax refunds of taxpayer victims whose identities they used. They had the tax refunds mailed to various addresses under their control in Sacramento County.

The defendants posed as the victims to activate the debit cards, cash the checks and obtain cash, goods and services, authorities said.

The scheme involved more than 280 false tax returns and more than 200 victim taxpayers. The defendants attempted to obtain $1,366,427 from the Internal Revenue Service, which paid $962,079 of that amount.

Vaughn was sentenced in December to five years and 10 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. In November, McKinnie received a 5-year prison sentence to be followed by three years of supervised release.

The case resulted from an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation; the Department of the Treasury, Office of Inspector General for Tax Administration; and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The federal agencies were assisted by the Sacramento Police Department and the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

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Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues. QUESTION: A couple of years ago, a Sacramento tax attorney named Roni Deutch was the target of an investigation by the California Department of Justice. She was accused of bilking clients out of millions and defying a court (Read More)

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