Albany Federal Court wraps up IRS fraud case - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany Federal Court wraps up IRS fraud case

September 18, 2007

Albany -- Thewander Dondrell Davis, the last of three men convicted in an IRS tax scheme has been sentenced to nine months in prison for his part in criminal plot to bilk the government out of false tax refunds.

The announcement of the sentencing by Judge Louis Sands at the Albany federal Courthouse was made today.

The scheme began in the 2002 tax season, and was called Tax Plus, in Albany. The next year, Louis Devan Cobb, Jr. carried on the fraud through his Jackson Hewitt Tax Service franchise.

U. S. Attorney Maxwell Wood said in a prepared statement that Davis recruited five taxpayers to give him their tax information to send to Cobb. Cobb was sentenced to a year in prison for his role in the fraud. Another accomplice, Roderick Duane Whitaker was convicted and sentenced to 14 months.

They will all have to three years of supervised release following the prison terms.

Attorney Wood said: "The defendants persuaded individual taxpayers to provide their names, social security numbers, dependent information, and W-2 forms to them for the purpose of having their tax returns prepared by Cobb.  The defendants used the information provided by the taxpayers to create new W-2 forms that were either completely fictitious, or which were falsified by increasing the income or tax withholding figures.  The defendants also created false schedules to claim business losses which the taxpayers did not incur.  Cobb submitted the false tax returns and related forms to the IRS to obtain inflated tax refunds to which the taxpayers were not entitled.  Upon issuance of the inflated refund, the defendants would either keep the entire refund or pay only a small portion of it to the taxpayer."

Twenty-one fraudulent returns were filed claiming refunds totaling $165,298, and Davis, Cobb, and Whitaker will have to pay restitution $66,011, $120,089, and $39,649, respectively to the IRS. 

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