River Park shooting victim agreed to testify in tax fraud case

The woman who was shot and wounded in her River Park home early Monday morning had recently admitted her involvement in a tax fraud scheme and agreed to testify against her co-defendants.

32 year old Gigi Riley pleaded guilty in January to four counts related to the filing of false tax returns.

Court documents indicate that the scheme went on for nearly two years, and secured more than $3.5 million in bogus refunds.

On Monday morning at about 4:15 someone broke into a home in the 1200 block of S. 30th Street and shot and wounded Gigi Riley. Police say that Riley was last reported in stable condition and that her injuries were not life threatening.

“The police report doesn’t mention anything as far as a demand for anything of value, so it’s unknown right now what the exact motive was only because in most of these situations there’s a demand for some sort of valuables, and in this case there wasn’t,” said Capt. Phil Trent of the South Bend Police Department.

In this case, the apparent crime victim had a pending criminal case of her own.

In January, Gigi Riley admitted she “led and participated in” the filing of 1,189 fraudulent tax returns for 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Court documents indicate that the scheme brought in more than $3.5 million and that Riley and other tax preparers had the refunds wired to accounts under their control.

Riley is one of six people charged in connection with the alleged scheme.

On May 6th, Riley was back in federal court in South Bend and had her sentencing delayed until after the scheduled trial of her co-defendants in October.

In Riley’s plea agreement, she vowed to testify truthfully and completely at any trials.

“The possibilities are open to anything, however, there’s no definitive motive,” said Capt. Trent.

Court documents indicate that the original investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Specifically, Riley is charged with using the personal identifying information of individuals to file tax returns that fraudulently claimed refunds. For instance, on January 21, 2010 Riley is accused of filing for a fictitious refund of $9,554.00.

On the 15th of January in 2010, Riley is accused of filing for a $7,127.00 fake refund on behalf of another individual.

Court documents allege that the scheme began in January of 2009 and continued until July of 2011.

Those who carried out the scheme allegedly made up false W-2 forms to make it appear that refunds were due.

Five co-defendants in the case are identified in court records as Jonathan Parahams, Jr., Africa Gunn, Angela White, Alicia Green, and Levelle Sanders.

Court documents indicate that only Green and Parahams remain in custody pending the outcome of their cases.

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