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Woman In Florida Convicted In Multi-Million Tax Fraud Case After Years On The Run


On March 2nd, 2024, Yahoo News reported that a woman from Florida has been convicted of a serious felony offense as part of a multi-million tax fraud case. Judy Grace Sellers—who spent several years as a fugitive—faces a maximum of 23 years in federal prison. Here, our Orange County white collar criminal defense lawyer explains the allegations and criminal charges in more detail.

Allegations: Improper Use of Form 1099-OID to Commit Tax Fraud 

Judy Grace Sellers—a Florida woman who was indicted for a tax fraud offense—nearly a decade ago, was convicted of tax fraud in a federal court. The DOJ brought the case after Ms. Sellers was located in New Mexico. The DOJ brough charges on the grounds that the defendant misused IRS form 1099-OID in order to carry out fraud. She reportedly promoted a baseless theory of secret U.S. Treasury accounts accessible via bogus documents. IRS form 1099-OID (Original Issue Discount) is used to report the amount of interest an investor earns on bonds, notes, or other financial instruments sold at a discount from their face value over the course of the investment’s term. Ultimately, the scheme involved submitting 22 fraudulent forms and, attempting, to secure $3.4 million in undue tax refunds.

Potential Factor in Sentencing: Defendant Evaded Court for Eight Years 

Ms. Sellers faces a maximum of 23 years in prison. Notably, she was originally indicted by federal prosecutors in 2014. However, Ms. Sellers evaded authorities by removing her GPS ankle monitor in 2015. She did so under the guise of attending a pretrial medical appointment. That she actively evaded justice for eight years could be a significant factor in sentencing. The sentencing hearing in this case is scheduled to occur later this year.

Federal Tax Fraud Charge: 26 USC 7206 (False Statements) 

One of the most common federal tax fraud charges is known as “false statements.” Under federal law (26 USC § 7206), it is a crime to knowingly make a false statement on a tax return or other document submitted to the IRS. A false statement must be “material” to the document. That term is broadly defined to include statements/representation that impact a tax obligation.

A conviction under this statute can result in severe penalties— including significant fines and imprisonment. Indeed, each count of false statements carries a maximum criminal sentence of up to three years in prison. Most 26 USC § 7206 cases involve alleged fraud on an income tax return. That being said, prosecutors could bring this type of tax fraud charge in other federal cases as well. 

Contact Our Orlando White Collar Criminal Defense Attorney Today

At The Baez Law Firm, our Orlando white collar criminal defense lawyer handles all types of tax crimes, including federal offenses. We strongly believe that every person deserves their day in court. Contact us right away for your no cost, no obligation consultation. From our Orlando law office, we defend white collar criminal cases throughout all of Orange County.


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