An Oakley woman accused of claiming more than $500,000 in false federal income tax refunds pleaded guilty Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag announced today. According to statements made during her plea, Kenestta “Peaches” Johnson assisted in filing the false income tax returns during 2008 and 2009 from addresses in Oakley and Oakland. The returns were electronically filed in someone else’s name using that person’s personal information. In addition to Johnson, at least three people from Northern California have been sentenced since April in connection with some 800 fraudulent income tax returns claiming $6.2 million in bogus refunds.
A fifth person is scheduled to be sentenced in November. The sentencings are part of an ongoing investigation after an IRS special agent filed criminal complaints related to fraudulent returns. In March and April 2009, IRS agents executed search warrants at addresses linked to the fraudulent returns in the northern and eastern parts of California. Ayani Davis, 33, of Antioch, was sentenced on April 13 to 63 months in prison, Niyah Edwards, 30, of Sacramento, was sentenced on May 17 to 51 months in prison, and Samuel Warren, of Oakley, was sentenced on July 6 to 21 months in prison.
Latrece O’Neal, 41, of Oakley, is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 9. O’Neal allegedly filed multiple false federal income tax returns and obstructed administration of internal revenue laws by coaxing witnesses to provide false information to the IRS during the investigation. She was charged on Sept. 21, 2010.
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