Former Alabama bank employee sentenced to prison for tax refund fraud


MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Officials with the Department of Justice say a resident of Montgomery and former bank teller has been sentenced to prison for her role in tax refund fraud.

LaQuanta Clayton, former Community Bank and Trust employee, has been sentenced to serve 21 months in prison to be followed by 3 years of supervised release for participating in a fraudulent tax refund scheme.

According to court documents and statements made in open court, Clayton used her position as a teller to open bank accounts in the name of another individual without his knowledge. She also made bank accounts in the name of fictitious individuals for the purpose of receiving fraudulent tax refunds.

Another resident of Montgomery, Tarrish Tellis, directed Clayton to open multiple bank accounts in order to receive electronic deposits of the fraudulent tax refunds. Clayton would withdraw the money, deposit into the accounts Tellis advised and other individuals in the scheme. Mr. Tellis' involvement in this case is still pending.

Clayton opened a total of at least five bank accounts at Community Bank and Trust with approximately $452,225 in fraudulent tax refunds directly deposited into those accounts. The IRS paid approximately $185,730 in fraudulent refunds into those accounts. At her sentencing, restitution for this amount was ordered to be paid by Clayton.

The case was investigated by Special Agents of the IRS - Criminal Investigation.  Trial Attorneys Michael Boteler and Charles Edgar, Jr. of the Justice Department's Tax Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Brown are prosecuting the case.

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