(The following press release was sent to Patch by the Northern California District of the United States Attorney's Office.)
PITTSBURG MOTHER AND SON SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR CONSPIRING TO FILE FALSE CLAIMS, SECOND SON PLEADS GUILTY TO IMPEDING THE IRS INVESTIGATION
Scheme involved over 100 Stolen Identities and more than $688,000 in False Claims
OAKLAND – Yesterday, Tonya Gilard was sentenced to 37 months in prison and her son, Tierre Crummie, was sentenced to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $688,687 for conspiring to file false tax returns. Kingsley Murdoch, who is also Gilard’s son, pleaded guilty to obstructing the IRS investigation, United States Attorney Melinda Haag and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge José M. Martinez announced.
According to Gilard’s and Crummie’s plea agreements, in January 2009, Gilard and Crummie assisted in filing false federal income tax returns with the IRS. Gilard obtained the personal identifying information of others, including Crummie, which she used to file false federal income tax returns. Gilard and Crummie also filed tax returns in their own names that falsely claimed entitlement to the first-time homebuyer’s credit.
In furtherance of the conspiracy, Crummie provided Gilard with individuals’ bank account information and e-mail addresses, while another person provided names to use on the false tax returns. On April 30, 2009, a search warrant was executed at the defendants’ residence. IRS agents uncovered $69,800 during the search, and found notebooks with names and personal identifying information of others. The evidence obtained during the course of the investigation also showed that Gilard filed the false returns from various locations, recruited others to join the scheme, and received the payments into bank accounts she controlled.
In total, 91 false federal income tax returns were filed as part of this scheme, claiming $688,687 in false refunds.
According to Murdoch’s plea agreement, in November 2009, he was interviewed by IRS Special Agents regarding tax returns filed with the IRS that listed his bank account to receive tax refunds. During the interview, he told the IRS Agents that he provided his bank account information and e-mail address to a person named “Spoogie.” Murdoch further stated that he provided names to “Spoogie” to include on tax returns that were filed with the IRS. He also said that he did not know Tonya Gilard or Tierre Crummie. In December 2009, he testified before the Grand Jury and provided false testimony in order to impede the investigation related to Gilard’s conduct according to his plea agreement.
Gilard, 45, and Crummie, 25, both of Pittsburg, Calif., were indicted on August 8, 2012, and charged with one count of conspiracy to file false claims. They pleaded guilty on May 9, 2013, to the sole count in the indictment.
Murdoch, 27, of Pittsburg, Calif., was charged on August 8, 2012, with Perjury and Obstruction of Justice. He pleaded guilty to one count of Obstruction of Justice. Murdoch’s sentencing is scheduled for May 8, 2014. The maximum statutory penalty for Obstruction of Justice, in violation of 18 U.S.C §1503(a), is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Thomas Newman is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting this case. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.
Case #s: CR-12-0615 YGR; CR-12-0616 YGR
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney's Office at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can.