MILWAUKEE -- The third of three Milwaukee sisters charged in connection with a tax fraud and identity theft scheme has been sentenced to prison.
36-year-old Tawanda Staten on Wednesday, April 20th was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison and eight years extended supervision for her part in the scheme that involved her two sisters and two accomplices -- James Cross and Anthony Coleman.
Tawanda Staten was also ordered to jointly repay $202,520 in restitution to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
Tawanda and her two sisters, Angela and Sharon, were charged with a total of 90 felony charges in February 2015 for filing fraudulent income tax returns following a two year investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue's Office of Criminal Investigation with assistance from the Wisconsin Department of Justice's Department of Criminal Investigation.
Prosecutors said the sisters were part of a scheme where 2,000 fraudulent tax claims were filed between January 1st, 2011 and December 31st, 2012.
The scheme attempted to get a total of $960,175 in tax refunds, but the agency blocked $725,785 in fake claims, or more than three quarters of the fake returns, by following the patterns that the Staten sisters and their accomplices used when filing.
38-year-old Sharon Staten of Milwaukee in February was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison and 10 years extended supervision.
She was also ordered to jointly repay $202,520 in restitution to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
38-year-old Angela Staten in February was sentenced to serve 14 years in prison and 14 years extended supervision.
Angela Staten must also jointly repay $202,520 in restitution to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
One accomplice, 42-year-old Anthony Coleman, was sentenced to serve two years in prison, and two years, four months extended supervision after pleading guilty to three charges.
The court ruled that Coleman would not have to pay any restitution.
The second accomplice, 32-year-old James Cross pleaded guilty to three charges and was sentenced to serve two years in prison and six years extended supervision.
Cross has been ordered to pay $18,000 in restitution.
DOR's Criminal Investigation agents referred the case to the Milwaukee County DA's office in April 2014 following an in-depth investigation that gathered evidence against the three Staten sisters.
This includes evidence that was gained when DOR's agents executed search warrants against all three sisters on May 31st, 2012, which turned up documents, computer files, fingerprints and other evidence that listed hundreds of stolen identities with names, dates of birth, and social security numbers.
Staten Sisters' Criminal Charges