TAMPA — A Pasco woman pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to conspiring with a Florida prison inmate to file more than 350 fraudulent tax returns.
Jacqueline Ferreira, 40, received more than $400,000 in tax refunds between January 2007 and June 2009, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
A news release says Ferreira conspired with an inmate at Union Correctional Institution in Raiford and other people to "defraud the United States by submitting false tax returns with the goal of securing tax refunds to which they were not entitled."
Ferreira set up at least 10 accounts at banks throughout the Tampa Bay area. The refunds were deposited electronically, and Ferreira reported the amounts to the co-conspirators.
The others involved were not named in the news release. One was the wife of another inmate. Ferreira had an arrangement with them to share a prearranged percentage of the tax scheme proceeds — usually a 50-50 split.
Ferreira spent her half on vehicles, furniture and other items, the release said.
She and the others filed more than 350 returns, seeking refunds in excess of $3 million. But not all the returns generated a refund, the release said.
Ferreira's bank accounts took in tax refund deposits of $443,711.92 before the scheme was discovered.
Molly Moorhead can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @mmoorheadtimes.