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Milwaukee Woman Found Guilty of Filing 35 Fraudulent Tax Returns

The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on February 3 a jury found Paula Forbes of Milwaukee guilty following a trial before United States District Judge Pamela Pepper in federal court in Milwaukee.

The jury convicted Forbes on each of the following 14 counts charged in the indictment: one count of conspiring to defraud the United States by filing false tax refund claims, in violation of 18 United States Code Section 286 and thirteen counts of filing false tax refund claims, in violation of 18 United States Code Section 287.

As proven at trial, beginning in January 2012, Forbes engaged in a scheme with others to file false income tax returns that claimed refund payments from the Internal Revenue Service. Forbes and her coconspirators gathered individuals’ social security numbers and other personal information. Forbes then prepared federal income tax returns that fraudulently claimed wages and federal tax-withholding amounts from several employers, including Wisconsin Mortgage & Real Estate Resources and Midwest Accounting Tax Services, even though those employers had not actually paid wages or withheld taxes for the individuals.

Forbes submitted the returns electronically to the IRS, signing the returns for individuals, many of whom she had never met. Forbes filed at least 35 fraudulent tax returns seeking more than $200,000 in tax refund payments. Forbes and her coconspirators shared in the proceeds of the fraudulently obtained tax refunds.

In addition, the jury also found Forbes guilty of filing fraudulent 2011 and 2012 income tax returns in her own name. In those returns, Forbes claimed inflated federal tax withholdings, which resulted in tax refunds of $13,341 and $3,528.

As a result of these convictions, Forbes faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release.

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