2 final defendants sentenced in Statesboro tax fraud scheme - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

2 sentenced in Statesboro tax fraud scheme

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STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) -

Two of the last defendants who were charged in connection with a tax fraud scheme were sentenced on March 5 in federal court in Statesboro.

Tidaesha V. Taylor, 27, of College Park, GA, and Gregory F. Smith Jr., 21, of Stone Mountain, GA, were sentenced last week before U.S. States District Court Judge B. Avant Edenfield.

Taylor was sentenced to 75 months in prison. Smith was sentenced to 95 months in prison.

Thirteen people were charged convicted and sentenced in a Statesboro-based plan to steal identities and submit false tax returns that resulted in more than $1 million in bogus tax refunds, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Georgia.

"In the midst of another tax season, cases like these demonstrate the substantial risks to the millions of honest tax filers of having their personal information stolen and fraudulently used.  The United States Attorney's Office will continue its efforts to protect the integrity of the federal income tax filing system and to prosecute those responsible for stealing the identities of legitimate taxpayers in order to deny them the refunds to which they are entitled," said U.S. Attorney Edward J. Tarver in a statement.

IRS Special Agent in Charge Veronica F. Hyman-Pillot stated, "The sentences these defendants received will not replace the losses that were incurred or the harm endured by the victims.  However, they do illustrate that IRS Criminal Investigation, along with our law enforcement partners, are committed to pursuing individuals who commit these types of crimes.  We will continue to unite and utilize every tool available to investigate those who conspire with each other to victimize members of our community for their own personal gain."

In 2013, Taylor and Smith, along with 11 others, were indicted on charges ranging from a conspiracy to defraud the IRS to identity theft.  According to evidence presented during guilty plea and sentencing hearings, these schemers stole personal identifiers, such as names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers, from medical records and other sources, which they then used to submit fraudulent tax returns in order to obtain tax refunds to which they were not entitled. 

Taylor and Smith were the last to be sentenced of the 13 defendants originally charged.  Each of the 13 defendants and their sentences are as follows: 

Erica Baldwin, 31, of Statesboro, GA, was sentenced on Jan. 7, to 81 months in prison.

Tracy Denson, 44, of Statesboro, GA, was sentenced on Feb. 13, to 100 months in prison.

Shakita Eason, 30, of Statesboro, GA, was sentenced on Jan. 7, 2014, to 104 months in prison.

Yolanda Edmond, 36, of Statesboro, GA, was sentenced on Oct. 8, 2013, to 32 months in prison.

Gloria Evans, 44, of Statesboro, GA, was sentenced on Oct. 8, 2013, to 39 months in prison.

Joshua Mincey, 20, of Statesboro, GA, was sentenced on Jan. 7 to 48 months in prison.

Porsche S. Pinkney, 19, of Augusta, GA, was sentenced on Jan. 14 to 65 months in prison.

Dwan Scott, 32, of Statesboro, GA, was sentenced on Jan. 14 to 72 months in prison.

Jenna Scott, 28, of Jacksonville, FL, was sentenced on Jan. 23 to 75 months in prison.

Asha K. Spaulding, 37, of Claxton, GA, was sentenced on Oct. 8, 2013, to 154 months in prison.

Andrea Webb, 31, of Register, GA, was sentenced on Jan. 7 to 51 months in prison.

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