Two Wisconsin women plead guilty to income tax scheme

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Two Milwaukee women have pleaded guilty in an income tax scheme.

U.S. Attorney James Santelle for the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced the pleas Tuesday. Santelle says 34-year-old Roshunda Smith and 46-year-old Linda Fay Townsend pleaded guilty to conspiring to file fraudulent claims for federal income tax refunds.

Prosecutors say from February through October 2009, Smith and Townsend fraudulently sought tax refunds by filing returns for friends, relatives and others that reflected false employment, income, dependents, tax withholdings and estimated tax payment information.

While the Internal Revenue Service detected many of the false returns before refunds were issued, prosecutors say refunds totaling more than $450,000 were paid out.

Smith and Townsend each face up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 when they’re sentenced in February.