Gillette Woman Pleads Guilty to Fraud & Lying to the IRS
Written by Andrew-Rossi on January 7, 2022
A Gillette woman faces 35 years in prison and $750,000 in fines after multiple schemes to defraud investors and get fraudulent payments from the I.R.S.
Alexa Kinney of Gillette, Wyoming, pled guilty on January 3 to wire fraud, using an unauthorized access device, and making false claims to the Internal Revenue Service before U.S. District Court Judge Alan B. Johnson.
According to court documents, Kinney devised three separate schemes in less than one year.
The schemes Kinney devised include fraudulent investment opportunities, unauthorized use of a credit card, and making false claims to the Internal Revenue Service to get payments.
Kinney knowingly attempted to obtain $165,000 from an investor, saying the investment would mature to $280,000 in approximately two months. But Kinney never invested the money – she used it for personal expenses and to pay off creditors.
In another instance, she obtained a credit card as payment for legal services she was to provide for a client. Instead, she used the victim’s account for personal expenses.
Finally, Kinney made false statements to the I.R.S. in an attempt to receive Economic Impact Payments which she was not eligible to receive. For example, in her EIP refund request, she claimed she was not required to file a tax return for 2019 because her gross income was less than $12,200 when she received at least $165,000 in taxable income year from the earlier scheme.
“By pleading guilty, Alexa Kinney became another example of an individual who attempted to obtain federal aid illegally and was brought to justice,” said Andy Tsui I.R.S. Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge for the state of Wyoming. “I.R.S. Criminal Investigation is committed to investigating those that defraud honest citizens and the federal government.”
If Kinney gets the maximum sentence, she would get over three decades in jail and nearly a million dollars in fines.
Wire fraud carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Using an authorized access device carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. False claims carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 24 at 9:30 a.m. before Judge Johnson. As part of the plea agreement, Kinney agreed to pay restitution which the court will determine.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret Vierbuchen.