78.5 F
Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, March 3, 2024
HomeNewsPolice & CourtsNinth STX Woman Pleads Guilty in Multi-Defendant Tax Fraud Scheme

Ninth STX Woman Pleads Guilty in Multi-Defendant Tax Fraud Scheme

(Shutterstock photo illustration)

Nicolette Alexander, a 29-year-old resident of the Virgin Islands, pleaded guilty Friday in federal court on St. Croix to Conspiracy to Defraud the United States as part of a multi-defendant tax fraud scheme, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced.

According to court documents, from January 2011 to July 2012, Nicolette Alexander and others participated in a scheme to steal money from the United States Treasury by fraudulently obtaining federal income tax refunds. The scheme involved acquiring personal identifying information of individuals, such as their names, Social Security numbers dates of birth) and use them to 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, Shappert’s news release said. They subsequently spent the funds using a debit card or transferred the funds to other accounts, all for personal use. As a result of the scheme, approximately $17,537 of falsely claimed returns were deposited into Alexander’s bank account.

Of 10 defendants charged in the tax fraud scheme, Alexander is the ninth to plead guilty. Eight others have entered guilty pleas, four of whom have been sentenced in federal court by District Court Chief Judge Wilma Lewis. The remaining defendant is scheduled for trial on June 7. A sentencing date for Alexander is to be scheduled, and she faces a maximum sentence of 10 years, a fine of as much as $250,000, and payment of restitution.

Shappert said 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.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations, and 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.