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Ringleader pleads guilty in million-dollar tax fraud conspiracy

Monday, Sept. 9, 2013 4:18 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013 1:27 AM
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The ringleader of a million-dollar tax fraud conspiracy pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court.

Angela Willingham, 40, her daughter Santana Willingham, 23, her sister Janice Smalley, 48, and her nephew James Butler, 21, were the final members of the conspiracy to plead guilty and admit their roles in the operation that ran from January 2009 through their indictment earlier this year.

Angela Willingham was the leader who recruited the others to take part in the scheme. Smalley and sister Patrice Roberson, 36, used their positions at Georgia Regents Medical Center and the Gracewood State Hospital campus in Augusta to steal patients’ personal identity information.

Angela Willingham used the information to fill out fraudulent W-2 income tax forms that claimed the people had income from winning the Georgia lottery. The tax forms claimed refunds were due, IRS special agent Roger Garland testified Monday.

Angela Willingham opened numerous bank accounts and recruited others to do the same. The fraudulently obtained Treasury checks were directly deposited into those bank accounts, Garland said.

Angela Willingham always took 45 percent of the deposits, and the rest of the money was divided among the participants. She warned the others that the scheme could fall apart but, “They wanted the money,” Garland said.

The others who pleaded guilty earlier this year are Santrece Willingham, 22, Dentavia McNair, 23, Kelly Barton, 35, Brittney Wright, 25, Cheryl Willingham, 37, LaSandra Whitfield, 42, and Matthew Harrington, 45.

Sentencing dates have not been set.

Comments (3) Add comment
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Darby
29165
Points
Darby 09/09/13 - 07:53 pm
6
0
EBT

not enough??

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 09/10/13 - 08:47 am
0
0
And there's
Unpublished

no voter fraud at all.

my.voice
5156
Points
my.voice 09/10/13 - 09:03 am
1
0
Mug shots?

Mug shots?

Fiat_Lux
16411
Points
Fiat_Lux 09/10/13 - 10:22 am
3
0
Yeah, I'd like to see these slugs too.

I know MCG pays very poorly unless you either have an MD or else put up with so much stress and misery that you're guaranteed an early death. Nevertheless, stealing from patients is on a par with stealing from the dead and from children.

You've got to wonder which of these horrible criminals grew up on the public dime only to turn around and steal from us as well.

These rotten people deserve long prison sentences if for no other reason than the pure egregious nature of their crime against vulnerable people. I love that their sentences will be federal. No early outs with federal time.

jimmymac
47303
Points
jimmymac 09/10/13 - 10:36 am
0
0
IST OFFENDER
Unpublished

My guess is some soft judge will give 1st offender status to most if not all of them and they'll walk. Throw the book at the and vote the softie judges out next election.

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