Arrests proceed in Horry County income tax scam
Columbia, SC (August 17, 2012) --- Investigators from the SC Department of Revenue (SCDOR) arrested three more women this morning who were involved in a tax-related scam in the Grand Strand area.
Lacy Denise Chestnut, Pamela Chanell Gaffney, and Denise Williams Manasse were taken individually to the J. Reuben Long Detention Center on Friday where they were each charged with one count of willfully assisting in the preparation of a false tax return. During the 2011 tax year, the women separately presented a fraudulent W2 form to a tax service in order to have an income tax return prepared.
Lacy Denise Chestnut’s fraudulent W2 tax form stated that she earned wages of $16,899 and had $760 in state wages withheld. Even though she did work for the employer indicated, Chestnut, 28, inflated the wages and withholding amounts claiming a $674 state income tax refund.
Pamela Chanell Gaffney, 27, presented a fraudulent W2 form from an employer where she did work during that time. However, the W2 was modified to state that Gaffney’s wages totaled $16,400 and $738 in state wages withheld, therefore claiming a tax refund of $581 to which she was not entitled.
Also for the 2011 tax year, Denise Williams Manasse illegally altered an employer W2 form to state that she had earned wages of $16,750 and $753 in state withholding taxes. Manasse, 33, presented the fraudulent W2 to a tax preparer and claimed a fraudulent tax refund of $753.
Lacy Denise Chestnut is currently awaiting a bond hearing, while Pamela Chanell Gaffney and Denise Williams Manasse are each being held on a $10,000 cash or surety bond.
If convicted of the charge, each of the three women could face penalties of up to 5 years in prison and/or $500 in charges.