Tax fraud scheme involving inmates leads to felony arrest
BATON ROUGE, La. - A New Orleans woman has been arrested for a scheme that involved filing false state income tax returns in the names of unsuspecting people, including prison inmates.
Investigators say Thelma Jean Lee is accused of filing 38 false returns, including fake W-2 withholding forms, during the 2010 and 2011 tax years. Authorities say the businesses named on those forms said the people identified as having filed the returns were not employees during those periods and many named on the returns were in jail at the time.
Lee allegedly directed $11,266 in illegally obtained refunds to accounts in her name as a result of the fraud.
Lee was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish jail for filing or maintaining false public records, identity theft and illegal transmission of monetary funds.