SJ Woman Pleads Guilty To Recruiting Homeless People For Tax Fraud Scheme
(BANT) – A San Jose woman pleaded guilty in federal court this week to eight criminal charges related to a scheme to recruit homeless people to participate in filing false tax returns to obtain false refunds.
Diep Vo, 74, also known as Nancy Vo, entered the plea before U.S District Judge Beth Labson Freeman in San Jose on Monday.
She pleaded guilty to conspiring to file false claims, three counts of aiding in the filing of false claims, two counts of mail fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. Freeman will sentence her on Nov. 14.
A codefendant, Trong Nguyen, also known as John Nguyen, pleaded guilty in May to conspiring to submit and submitting false claims for refunds. He will be sentenced on July 25.
U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Abraham Simmons said evidence in the case showed that Vo recruited participants at homeless shelters and halfway houses by promising to help them get tax refunds intended for people who had not been working.
Vo had the participants give their names and social security numbers and sign a blank form. She and Nguyen then filed false tax returns claiming about $7,000 in income for each individual and said the fictitious income had been subject to tax withholding.
Vo and Nguyen then demanded kickbacks of a portion of the refund money received by each participant.