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Milwaukee woman sentenced to two years in prison for tax fraud

Gregory J. Haanstad, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on June 9, 49-year-old Milwaukee woman Paula Forbes was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $143,016 in restitution for income tax fraud.

Specifically Forbes conspired to defraud the United States by filing false tax refund claims, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 286, and also of filing false tax refund claims, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 287. Forbes was convicted at a jury trial on February 3, 2017.

Beginning in January 2012, Forbes engaged in a scheme with others to file false income tax returns that claimed refund payments from the IRS. 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.

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