Inmates targeted in $40K false tax return scheme

February 1, 2013 10:57:15 AM

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JACKSON -- Six people have been indicted on federal charges related to a scheme to pocket refunds from the filing of false income tax returns involving former or current Mississippi inmates. 

 

Court documents show a trial date of April 8 has been set for the six defendants in U.S. District Court in Jackson. 

 

According to court documents, the government contends Marietta Harris, Ladonna Cooper, Tony Jones, Nikki Thomas, Shekeila Jones and S'Ade Tyler stole the inmates' identities. They allegedly created and filed federal income tax returns and had tax refunds deposited into their bank accounts. 

 

Nearly $40,000 was deposited into bank accounts the six allegedly controlled in January 2009, according to court documents. 

 

Prosecutors said the refunds were electronically transferred to accounts at four banks. Prosecutors said there were 42 such transactions. 

 

There was nothing in court records to indicate that the current or former inmates knew about the scheme. 

 

Court documents show a trial date of April 8 has been set for the six defendants in U.S. District Court in Jackson. 

 

Records show Cooper was at one time employed at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Rankin County and had access through a computer system to the Social Security numbers, dates of birth of current and former inmates and visitors to the prison. 

 

Records show Harris and Thomas are each charged with 24 counts; Shekeila Jones is charged with 22 counts; Cooper and Tony Jones are each charged with one count; and Tyler is charged with eight counts.