3 women charged in tax-fraud scheme


Two women from Toledo and one from Detroit were charged in a 29-count indictment filed this week in U.S. District Court alleging they took part in a tax fraud conspiracy that federal prosecutors say netted them more than $436,000.

Erica A. Harris, 32, and Shaunte Harris, 29, both of Toledo, and Latoya M. Gilmer, 29, of Detroit were charged with conspiracy to defraud the government and multiple counts of filing false federal income tax returns.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the three women approached low-income individuals and offered them a portion of the fraudulent tax refunds in exchange for their personal information and that of their children. The trio would then electronically file fictitious returns, reporting false wages, false Social Security benefits, and false withholding amounts that typically exceeded $10,000.

According to the indictment, the women allegedly filed more than 40 false returns from 2009 through April, 2010, and received $436,036 in tax refunds.