80.9 F
Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
HomeNewsPolice & CourtsSTX Woman Sentenced to Federal Prison in Tax Fraud Scheme

STX Woman Sentenced to Federal Prison in Tax Fraud Scheme

 

Sylvia Benjamin, age 41, from St. Croix, was sentenced Friday in federal court to a year of incarceration followed by three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S., according to U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert

Benjamin also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $65,078.12 to the Internal Revenue Service.

According to the plea agreement filed with the court, from January 2011 to July 2012, Sylvia Benjamin and others participated in a scheme to steal money from the United States treasury by fraudulently obtaining federal income tax refunds. The scheme involved the acquisition of personal identifying information of individuals (i.e. name, social security number, and date of birth) used to electronically file falsified tax returns with a designation of refunds to the acquired bank accounts or debit cards. Defendant and her co-conspirators withdrew the deposited refunds, spent them using a debit card or transferred them to other accounts, all for personal use.

Advertising (skip)
Advertising (skip)
Advertising (skip)
Advertising (skip)

As a result of the scheme, approximately $80,403.00 of falsely claimed returns was designated for deposit into Benjamin’s bank account, of which approximately $65,078.12 was actually deposited.

Of 10 defendants charged in the tax fraud scheme, eight others have entered guilty pleas, three of whom have been sentenced in federal court by District Court Chief Judge Wilma Lewis. The remaining two defendants are scheduled for trial on June 7.

The prosecution of this fraud scheme is the result of years of investigative work by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, which identified and dismantled a massive stolen identity refund fraud scheme perpetrated in the Virgin Islands and elsewhere, Shappert said.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Ortiz.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

STAY CONNECTED

20,771FansLike
4,714FollowersFollow

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more
  Sylvia Benjamin, age 41, from St. Croix, was sentenced Friday in federal court to a year of incarceration followed by three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S., according to U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert Benjamin also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $65,078.12 to the Internal Revenue Service. According to the plea agreement filed with the court, from January 2011 to July 2012, Sylvia Benjamin and others participated in a scheme to steal money from the United States treasury by fraudulently obtaining federal income tax refunds. The scheme involved the acquisition of personal identifying information of individuals (i.e. name, social security number, and date of birth) used to electronically file falsified tax returns with a designation of refunds to the acquired bank accounts or debit cards. Defendant and her co-conspirators withdrew the deposited refunds, spent them using a debit card or transferred them to other accounts, all for personal use. As a result of the scheme, approximately $80,403.00 of falsely claimed returns was designated for deposit into Benjamin’s bank account, of which approximately $65,078.12 was actually deposited. Of 10 defendants charged in the tax fraud scheme, eight others have entered guilty pleas, three of whom have been sentenced in federal court by District Court Chief Judge Wilma Lewis. The remaining two defendants are scheduled for trial on June 7. The prosecution of this fraud scheme is the result of years of investigative work by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, which identified and dismantled a massive stolen identity refund fraud scheme perpetrated in the Virgin Islands and elsewhere, Shappert said. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Ortiz.