Woman accused in prison tax fraud scheme
BATON ROUGE - Authorities filed charges against a New Orleans woman who's accused of filing false state tax returns for a number of people, including some prison inmates.
Investigators charged Thelma Jean Lee with multiple felonies for filing 38 faked tax returns and getting thousands of dollars in refunds between 2010 and 2011. She's the 37th person arrested as part of a joint effort between the state Department of Revenue and Attorney General's Office.
Employers named on the W2 forms Lee filed told investigators the people she listed were not their employees during those years. Authorities also said many of the claims were for people locked up in state or local prisons when they were filed.
State officials say Lee received more than $11,000 in illegal refunds, which were deposited in accounts listed in her name.
Authorities arrested Lee on Jan. 14 and booked her into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on charges including Filing or Maintaining False Public Records, Identity Theft, and Illegal Transmission of Monetary Funds.