2 more suspects in million-dollar tax fraud scheme plead guilty

Two more defendants accused of taking part in a million-dollar tax fraud conspiracy pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court.


Kelly Barton and Cheryl Willingham pleaded guilty to the indictment.

Angela Willinghamis accused of being the ringleader who convinced the others that she had a way to make some easy money. She is Cheryl Willingham’s sister.

Barton testified Monday that she met Angela Willingham while they were in drug rehab.

FBI special agent Paul Kubala testified Monday that the 12 defendants had different roles in the conspiracy, the purpose of which was to collect fraudulent tax returns. Two of the members used their jobs to obtain patients’ personal identity. The information was used to create bogus income tax documents for 90 false identities who falsely claimed to have had large tax withholding from Georgia lottery winnings, Kubala testified.

The tax return deposits were sent to bank accounts set up by the defendants, Kubala testified. Bank officials became suspicious when numerous tax returns for recipients were sent to a single account.

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