AP NEWS

Houston woman heads to prison for fraud

April 9, 2019

More than six months after pleading guilty, a Houston woman is heading to prison for fraud.

Sheiletta McGrew, 44, pleaded guilty on Sept. 17, 2018, to theft of government money, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

On Monday, April 8, McGrew was ordered to federal prison for 24 months followed by two years of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Vanessa D. Gilmore issued the sentence. She will also have to pay restitution of $144,943.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, McGrew owned a “tax preparation business called BABY STEPS 4 ME which she operated from her Houston residence. At the time of her plea, McGrew admitted she unlawfully acquired the personal identifying information (PII) of numerous individuals to include names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and other sensitive personal information. She then used the unlawfully acquired PII to file false and fraudulent income tax returns with the IRS.”

McGrew admitted to submitting fraudulent returns without the taxpayers’ consent and “requested the refunds be directly deposited into bank accounts she controlled.”

In her plea, McGrew admitted to filing at least 82 fraudulent returns and received fraudulent refunds in the amount of $257,765.

After she was sentenced, McGrew was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

IRS-Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Hileman prosecuted the case.

rkent@hcnonline.com