California real estate broker guilty of fraud in first-time homebuyer scam
A Tarzana, Calif. woman has pleaded guilty to federal tax charges, admitting that she filed more than 200 false tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that sought over $1.3 million in refunds based on fraudulently claimed First-Time Homebuyer Credits and Earned Income Tax Credits. Kashawn Monique Savery, a real estate broker who until recently lived in Reseda, Calif., pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Dale S. Fischer. Savery pleaded guilty to all of the charges in a criminal information that charged her with 10 counts of making false claims to the United States. According to a search warrant executed earlier this year at Savery’s residence, IRS-Criminal Investigation began investigating this matter when an IRS Fraud Detection Center observed suspicious activity, including a group of 231 tax returns for the 2008 tax year that sought more than $1.3 million in refunds. The vast majority of the suspicious tax returns were filed from a computer that IRS investigators determined was located at Savery’s condominium in Reseda. Other suspicious tax returns linked to the same computer have been filed in recent months for the 2009 tax year. Savery pleaded guilty to fraudulently filing or causing to be filed 10 tax returns, five of which sought refunds based on the Earned Income Tax Credit, and five of which sought refunds based on the First-Time Homebuyer Credit. The criminal information alleges that the 10 tax returns fraudulently sought nearly $68,000 in refunds. During today’s hearing, Savery admitted being involved in the filing of more fraudulent tax returns--over 200 that sought more than $1.3 million in fraudulent refunds. Judge Fischer is scheduled to sentence Savery on October 18. As a result of today’s guilty pleas, Savery faces a maximum statutory sentence of 50 years in federal prison and a $2.5 million fine. This case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation. For more information, visit www.usdoj.gov.