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Two more plead guilty in $718K tax fraud scheme

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Two more Springfieldians pleaded guilty to their roles in a $718,000 tax fraud scheme.

Carolyn Cobb, 56, and Clementine Lockett, 43, each pleaded guilty to two counts of presenting a false claim. Cobb also pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property, according to a news release from the office of Tom Larson, acting U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

Co-defendant Nancy Walker, 55, of Springfield, pleaded guilty in August to one count of presenting a false claim, one count of theft of government property and one count of aggravated identity theft.

The trio each admitted to participating in a January 2010-April 2013 conspiracy to submit false federal income tax returns to illegally gain funds for the 2009-12 tax years, according to the release.

Cobb, Lockett and Walker received $317,498 in refunds after filing for $718,927 in returns.

The conspirators used their names, social security numbers and Turbo Tax to prepare and electronically file federal income tax returns. The forms included fictitious IRS Form W-2 information that listed employers who did not employ the individuals, wages that had not been earned and employment taxes that had not been withheld, according to the release.

Under federal statutes, Cobb could face 25 years in federal prison without parole, Walker could receive up to 20 years and Lockett could get a sentence of up to 15 years.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Casey Clark and investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation, according to the release.

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