Chicago Woman Sentenced to Prison for Fraud and Tax Crimes. Cashed Her Deceased Grandmother’s Pension Checks
Department of Justice Press Release Number: 22-1394 - Topic(s): Tax
A Chicago tax preparer was sentenced to seven years in prison today after her trial conviction for embezzling her deceased grandmother’s pension checks and preparing false tax returns for clients.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, in 2016 and 2017 Eunice Salley prepared and filed with the IRS approximately 22 false tax returns on behalf of clients. The returns reported fictitious wages and withholdings, as well as false medical, charitable, and employment-related expenses. In addition to charging her clients a preparation fee, Salley also demanded that some clients pay her as much as 50% of the resulting refund. In total, the 22 false returns sought more than $1 million in fraudulent refunds.
Salley also was convicted of pension fraud. Salley’s grandmother died in 2009 after working for and earning a pension with American Can Co. After Salley’s grandmother died, the monthly pension checks continued to be delivered to the residence where Salley resided. From January 2013 to December 2017, American Can Co. sent 33 pension checks, totaling $14,131, to the grandmother. Salley deposited these checks into one of six bank accounts she controlled. On several occasions during this period, Salley notarized and submitted to the pension plan administrator affidavits under her grandmother’s name, fraudulently affirming the grandmother was still alive. In 2017, Salley did not report to the IRS approximately $5,000 in income she received from the embezzled pension checks.
In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Robert M. Dow Jr. ordered Salley to serve three years of supervised release and to pay approximately $558,369 in restitution to the United States.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney John R. Lausch Jr. for the Northern District of Illinois, Special Agent in Charge Justin Campbell of the Chicago Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation, and Acting Special Agent in Charge John S. Morales of the FBI Chicago Field Office made the announcement.
IRS-Criminal Investigation and the FBI investigated the case.
Assistant Chief Andrew Kameros of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Jonas of the Northern District of Illinois prosecuted the case.
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