Second half of local tax scam duo pleads guilty

Richmond Federal Courthouse

Richmond Federal Courthouse

With her co-conspirator already behind bars, a local tax preparer now is facing a federal prison sentence of her own after pleading guilty to a filing scam that bilked the government out of more than $800,000 from bogus refunds.

Crystal Charmae Jackson, who worked as a tax preparer in Richmond from 2011 to 2015, admitted last week to conspiring with Chesterfield resident David Wayne Schneider in filing false tax returns for clients that resulted in inflated refunds.

Jackson, 44, and Schneider, 55, would return part of the refund to the clients and pocket the rest, often through bank accounts for Schneider’s Zimmerman Bail Bonding company, court records state.

Schneider pleaded guilty last year to wire fraud, tax fraud and theft of government property and was sentenced in April 2016 to serve two years in federal prison.

Schneider had a hand in at least 129 false tax returns, according to court records from his case. He agreed to pay more than $500,000 in restitution to the IRS and Social Security Administration.

He is serving his sentence at the low-security federal prison in Petersburg.

Jackson’s guilty plea follows an indictment and her subsequent arrest in late December. She  initially was indicted on 22 counts, ultimately pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy to make false claims against the U.S. and making a false claim against the U.S.

Jackson and Schneider guaranteed clients they’d get refunds and “Jackson held herself out as someone who guaranteed large refunds,” according to court records.

“Jackson charged as much as $1,000 for her services, a price she sometimes justified by pointing to the size of the refunds she was able to obtain for her clients,” court records state.

Prosecutors and Jackson agreed in the case that her actions led to a loss of not more than $861,000.

Jackson is represented by Nia Vidal of the federal public defenders office, who declined to comment.

Jackson faces a maximum of 15 years for her crimes, however the U.S. Attorneys Office noted that sentences are typically less than the maximum penalty.

A Richmond federal court judge will decide her fate at a sentencing hearing Sept. 12.

Jackson was released on bond and will remain free until sentencing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Moore is prosecuting the case. Investigators from the IRS, Treasury Department and Social Security Administration worked the case.

Richmond Federal Courthouse

Richmond Federal Courthouse

With her co-conspirator already behind bars, a local tax preparer now is facing a federal prison sentence of her own after pleading guilty to a filing scam that bilked the government out of more than $800,000 from bogus refunds.

Crystal Charmae Jackson, who worked as a tax preparer in Richmond from 2011 to 2015, admitted last week to conspiring with Chesterfield resident David Wayne Schneider in filing false tax returns for clients that resulted in inflated refunds.

Jackson, 44, and Schneider, 55, would return part of the refund to the clients and pocket the rest, often through bank accounts for Schneider’s Zimmerman Bail Bonding company, court records state.

Schneider pleaded guilty last year to wire fraud, tax fraud and theft of government property and was sentenced in April 2016 to serve two years in federal prison.

Schneider had a hand in at least 129 false tax returns, according to court records from his case. He agreed to pay more than $500,000 in restitution to the IRS and Social Security Administration.

He is serving his sentence at the low-security federal prison in Petersburg.

Jackson’s guilty plea follows an indictment and her subsequent arrest in late December. She  initially was indicted on 22 counts, ultimately pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy to make false claims against the U.S. and making a false claim against the U.S.

Jackson and Schneider guaranteed clients they’d get refunds and “Jackson held herself out as someone who guaranteed large refunds,” according to court records.

“Jackson charged as much as $1,000 for her services, a price she sometimes justified by pointing to the size of the refunds she was able to obtain for her clients,” court records state.

Prosecutors and Jackson agreed in the case that her actions led to a loss of not more than $861,000.

Jackson is represented by Nia Vidal of the federal public defenders office, who declined to comment.

Jackson faces a maximum of 15 years for her crimes, however the U.S. Attorneys Office noted that sentences are typically less than the maximum penalty.

A Richmond federal court judge will decide her fate at a sentencing hearing Sept. 12.

Jackson was released on bond and will remain free until sentencing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Moore is prosecuting the case. Investigators from the IRS, Treasury Department and Social Security Administration worked the case.

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