Thursday, April 19, 2018
News Roundup

Tampa's tax fraud 'queen' is a big spender even in prison

TAMPA — Self-described tax fraud queen Rashia Wilson will get no help from a federal judge in her quest to suspend even token restitution payments while in prison.

Wilson pleaded poverty a few weeks ago, telling U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr. that she earns just $5.25 a month at the federal prison in Aliceville, Ala., and must pay for her own vitamins and hygiene items.

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Nebesky, in a response, reports that Wilson's prison account has seen deposits of $2,914.43 in the past six months. Inmates use such accounts to buy snacks and pay for phone calls.

"Despite these significant deposits, purchases totaling $2,132.60 in 2014 thus far and an available balance of $451.05, the defendant has only paid $50 towards her court-ordered financial obligations in the last six months," Nebesky wrote.

That $50 went toward $400 in court fees that were supposed to be paid last year. While incarcerated, Wilson is also supposed to pay at least $25 per quarter toward the $3.1 million that she and an accomplice owe the IRS for filing returns using stolen identities.

Wilson, 28 of Tampa, "should be applying more funds, not less towards her restitution obligation," Nebesky wrote, citing a Bureau of Prisons policy.

The judge denied Wilson's request. She had asked to delay restitution payments until her release in early 2031.

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