Richmond woman faces 7 years in prison for identity theft, tax fraud

Richmond woman faces 7 years in prison for identity theft, tax fraud
A Richmond woman is facing approximately seven years in prison on fraud and theft charges.

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Richmond woman is facing approximately seven years in prison on fraud and theft charges.

Court documents show Banita Brandise Saffore, 34, and her mother, co-defendant Charlene Saffore Cannon, 53, ran a tax preparation service in which they systematically filed returns for clients.

The returns contained false representations to the clients’ Schedule C income, dependents and education expenses in order to obtain inflated refunds.

The pair began filing fraudulent tax returns using stolen identities and pocketing the refunds in their entirety.

Saffore was also ordered to pay $169,227 in restitution to her victims.

She pleaded guilty to the conspiracy and identity theft charges, but then failed to appear at her sentencing in Sept. 2018.

Two other defendants, Cannon and 60-year-old Sherin Lee Saffore, have been sentenced for charges related to the scheme.

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