Monday, February 29, 2016
Federal grand jury indicts Springfield women for tax fraud conspiracy
Three Springfield, Mo., women have been indicted for their roles in a nearly $300,000 tax fraud conspiracy.
Nancy L. Walker, 54, Carolyn Alice Cobb, 54, and Clementine Lockett, 41, all of Springfield, were charged in a 25-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Springfield on Feb. 23, 2016. That indictment was unsealed and made public upon the arrest and initial court appearance of Lockett on Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. Lockett remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing on Wednesday, March 2, 2016. Cobb is in state custody on an unrelated case and Walker remains a fugitive.
The federal indictment alleges that Walker, Cobb and Lockett participated in a tax fraud conspiracy from January 2010 to April 23, 2013. The conspiracy allegedly netted at least $297,173 in fraudulently-obtained tax refunds.
According to the indictment, Walker, Cobb and Lockett used the names and Social Security numbers of other persons to electronically file false and fraudulent federal income tax returns. Additionally, Walker allegedly used stolen identities to electronically file other false and fraudulent federal income tax returns. Conspirators used fictitious W-2 information, listing employers who did not employ the individual listed on the federal income tax return, and reporting wages not earned and employment taxes not withheld from the individual. Further, several of these false and fraudulent federal income tax returns included fictitious education-related expenses, which the individuals did not incur and were not entitled to deduct as credits.
Refunds received from the fraudulent returns were deposited into bank accounts controlled by Walker and Cobb, among others, or deposited onto prepaid debit cards, the indictment says.
Conspirators concealed and attempted to conceal the existence of the conspiracy by failing to accurately list the person(s) who prepared the false and fraudulent federal income tax returns, using nominee bank accounts to receive the refund deposits and providing false and misleading statements to law enforcement when questioned about their roles and actions in the conspiracy.
In addition to the conspiracy, Walker is charged with three counts of identity theft and 15 counts of making false claims. Cobb and Lockett are each charged with Walker in two false claims counts.
Walker is also charged with six counts of stealing public money. Cobb is charged with her in one of those counts.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Casey Clark. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.