FDA Worker Conspired in $3.4 Million Tax Fraud Scheme

Justice’s Tax Division found she schemed with ex-IRS employee.

A Food and Drug Administration employee pleaded guilty to a multi-million-dollar conspiracy to submit false tax returns, the Justice Department announced on July 14.

Nafeesah Hines, 46, of Jamaica, N.Y., admitted submitting fraudulent tax returns with two accomplices to collect more than $3.4 million from the Internal Revenue Service from 2008-2012.

She pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, according to Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline Ciraolo of Justice’s Tax Division.

The indictment detailed how Hines worked with Rodney Chestnut, a retired New York City Department of Correction officer, and Clive Henry, a former IRS employee in the business of preparing tax returns, to recruit clients to a scheme that involved using fraudulent IRS Forms 1099-OID to falsely claim refunds of taxes never paid to the IRS. The three collected fees from the clients based on a percentage of the refunds received, and outfitted the clients with “correspondence containing false and frivolous claims to send to the IRS in response to IRS warning letters regarding the false tax returns,” Justice said.

Hines will be sentenced on Oct. 11, and faces up to five years imprisonment and fines. Her two accomplices pleaded guilty earlier.

In making the announcement, Ciraolo commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation along with Tax Division Trial Attorneys Mark Kotila and Jeffrey McLellan.