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Last members of million-dollar tax fraud conspiracy sentenced to prison

Friday, June 20, 2014 12:55 AM
Last updated 1:12 AM
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The last members of a million-dollar tax fraud scheme were sentenced to prison Wednesday.

Angela Willingham, 41, who was described as the ringleader, was sentenced to 142 months in prison, and her nephew James Butler, 22, received 60 months in prison.

Willingham has the largest restitution to make for the conspiracy: more than $1.29 million.

Willingham, Butler and 10 others were found guilty of conspiring to defraud the IRS by filing fraudulent income tax returns in the names of 90 people. The bogus documents claimed each person had lottery winnings with overpayment of
taxes, which entitled each to a tax refund.

The names and personal information were stolen from patients at Georgia Regents Medical Center and East Central Regional Hospital’s Gracewood campus.

Willingham’s sisters, Janice Smal­ley, 48, and Patrice Roberson, 37, used their positions at the facilities to steal the information.

The scheme unraveled because a bank employee noticed that income tax refunds in different people’s names were being deposited
into the account of a person who turned out to be a member of the conspiracy.

Smalley was sentenced to 44 months in prison, and Roberson was sentenced to 61 months in prison.

One of Willingham’s daughters, Santana Willingham, 23, was sentenced to 60 months in prison. Another daughter, Santrece Wil­ling­ham, 22, was sentenced to five years of probation.

Brittney Wright, 26, was sentenced to 42 months in prison. Dentavia McNair, 24, was sentenced to 108 months in prison; Cheryl Wil­ling­ham, 38, was sentenced to five years of probation; Kelly Barton, 36, was sentenced to 15 months in prison; LaSandra Whitfield, 43, was sentenced to 36 months in prison; and Matthew Harrington, 46, was sentenced to five years of probation.

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csralookout 06/20/14 - 09:39 am

This is a little scary. 90 fraudulent tax returns were filed with bogus lottery winnings. And it took a bank employee to figure something was wrong? 90 returns!!!! Also, lottery winnings over a certain amount are reported to the IRS, so how did 90 returns get through with out a red flag coming up after paying out millions? This seem unreal.

ELLIOTTMESS55 06/20/14 - 01:47 pm
when you win over 2,500 you

when you win over 2,500 you have to file a tax form with the did this happen?the irs has this info,and where did they get the victims w2's?

gargoyle 06/20/14 - 03:49 pm
Its the IRS they don't have

Its the IRS they don't have to explain how they facilitate organized fraud . If pushed for the particulars there would be a hard drive crash.

rmwhitley 06/20/14 - 08:05 pm
One of the

beauties of this scheme is the collusion between the democratic perpetrators and the criminally inclined democratically led irs. I'm surprised they were found guilty. If it was up to doj head holder, they would walk and vote in the next democratic primary.

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