According to a recently published Illinois Department of Revenue web site press release, a young Chicago man has been sentenced to two years behind bars for trying to file a completely false tax return that would give him an overfull refund of over $6,000. He also falsely claimed that he was employed at a staffing facility.
Steve Henley, a 27-year-old Chicago resident, ended up pleading guilty while at trial in the Cook County Circuit Court. He pleaded guilty to felony theft and was sentenced to two years in jail. His accomplice, 24-year-old Chicago resident Larnecia Smith, pleaded guilty back in June and served a total of 49 days in jail. She was also given two years probation for her crime.
Illinois Revenue Director Brian Hamer said, “People need to know that tax fraud will not be taken lightly in the state of Illinois. These two individuals tried to cheat the system and to cheat that state of Illinois out of revenue. I am pleased that they were brought to justice.”
As stated, Henley pled guilty to felony theft, stating that both he and Smith actually filed false W-2s to the Illinois Department of Revenue on their web site at tax.illinois.gov. Both filed their W-2s for 2004 at Staff Plus, Inc., a company that neither Henley or Smith worked for. Their fake forms stated that each should receive a whopping $6,185 refund from the state.
The Illinois Department of Revenue’s anti-fraud program picked up the scam and referred the case to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. This unit investigated the case and brought it to trial in Cook County. The Illinois Attorney General’s Office prosecuted the felony case.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said, “My office, in coordination with the Department of Revenue and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, will continue to aggressively prosecute those who attempt to defraud the state of Illinois.”
Henley has been incarcerated since he was arrested this past July 11, 2007. As a result of his guilty plea, he was sentenced to two years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Larniecia Smith had plead guilty on back June 27, 2007. She was sentenced to a period of two years felony probation after having served 49 days in Department of Corrections custody as a result of this crime.
More information about the Illinois Department of Revenue and this case is available at their official government web site at revenue.state.il.us.
Illinois Department of Revenue. “Defendent gets two-year sentence for filing false tax return.” http://www.illinois.gov/PressReleases/ShowPressRelease.cfm?SubjectID=2&RecNum=6336