A Buffalo woman admitted Monday to taking part in a scheme that cheated the Internal Revenue Service out of $534,000.
Destinee McBride, 22, one of five people charged in the case, pleaded guilty to wire fraud affecting a financial institution and now faces up to 51 months in federal prison.
McBride was part of a scheme that revolved around the filing of 88 false tax returns and fraudulent refunds that were then placed on prepaid debit cards, Assistant U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross said.
“She was involved in an unfortunate situation in which she was taken advantage of,” said Fonda D. Kubiak, a federal public defender.
McBride is the second defendant to take a plea deal in the case. The three other defendants are Clifton Jackson, who is accused of being the ring leader of the scheme, as well as Sheri L. Becirovic and Amber Pawlak, all of Buffalo.
The case is the result of an investigation by the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS and the United States Postal Inspection Service.