Former Stockton man pleads guilty in phony tax return scheme
July 10, 2017
• Netted less than $26,000
• He now faces a decade in prison
Darrell Lemont Morris, 46, formerly of Stockton, and currently a resident of Houston, Texas, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to submit false claims, says U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert.
According to court documents, between January 2010 and March 2011, Mr. Morris conspired with co-defendant Vivian Marie Williams, of Stockton, to defraud the United States by filing false and fraudulent tax returns. Ms. Williams prepared tax returns out of her home in Stockton for legitimate clients, but most of the tax returns she prepared were in the names of victims of identity theft. These individuals did not know Ms. Williams, did not authorize her to file a tax return on their behalf, and did not receive the refund. Mr. Morris allowed Ms. Williams to use his bank accounts to deposit the tax refunds and then shared in the proceeds with her. During the scheme, Mr. Morris admitted he submitted false claims to the IRS for at least $25,945.
Ms. Williams was sentenced in October 2016, to four months and 25 days in custody and ordered to pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.
Mr. Morris is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dale Drozd on January 8, 2018 when he will face a possible maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.