Thema Liverpool, a 31-year-old St. Croix resident, pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy to defraud the United States, U.S. Attorney Gretchen Shappert announced.
According to the plea agreement filed with the court, from January 2011 to July 2012 Liverpool 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 used to electronically file falsified tax returns for tax years 2010 and 2011.
According to court documents, Liverpool and nine co-conspirators filed tax returns using individuals’ true names, actual Social Security numbers and dates of birth but falsified information regarding the individuals’ income earned, tax withholding amounts, credits and other information. The scheme allowed Liverpool and others to claim tax refunds to which they were not entitled, Shappert said. Liverpool and her co-conspirators designated bank accounts for receipt of the refunds, which, once received, they withdrew and spent for personal use. As a result of the scheme, $128,040 was designated to Hughes’ bank account, of which $66,578 was actually deposited therein.
Of 10 defendants charged in the tax fraud scheme, Liverpool is the fifth to plead guilty. Four others have entered guilty pleas one of whom has been sentenced. Shappert’s Monday news release did not name any of the co-defendants.
No sentencing date has been set for Liverpool. The remaining five defendants are scheduled for trial in 2020. Liverpool faces a maximum sentence of 10 years and a $250,000 fine.
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alphonso Andrews Jr. and Melissa Ortiz.