Five South Bend residents now face federal charges for allegedly working together to swindle approximately $3.5 million from the U.S. Treasury.
On Jan. 16, a federal grand jury in Hammond, Indiana indicted Jonathan Parahams, Jr., 35, Africa Gunn, 35, Angela White, 31, Alicia Green, 27, and Levelle Sanders, 26 for their involvement in a scheme to file 1,189 falsified and fake tax returns. The total monetary value they were attempting to claim amounted to $3,543,794.
According to the Indictment, the defendants solicited personal information such as names and social security numbers from Indiana residents in order to file fraudulent tax returns in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
The funds were then directed to bank accounts or a debit card owned by one of the five defendants.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the charges came after an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service flagged the potential fraud.