LAWMEN SNARED IN ALLEGED PLOT TO INFLATE REFUNDS
By FITSNEWS || Richland County, S.C. sheriff Leon Lott has arrested five of his deputies and charged them with tax evasion and fraud.
According to a release from his office, Lott arrested deputies Valerie Gibson (43), Eddie West (29), Cedric Jacobs (40), Bobby Cohen (32) and Vivian Belton (48). A sixth person – an ex-civilian employee of the department named Maribel Crespo – was also arrested and charged with thirteen counts of tax fraud.
The five deputies allegedly took their tax returns to Crespo to “increase their refunds and defraud the government,” Lott said.
Specifically, Crespo is accused of creating fake identities for dependents that didn’t exist – which these deputies then claimed on their tax returns in an effort to get deductions.
“They knowingly allowed her to put these dependents on their returns that didn’t exist,” he said, adding that Crespo had previously been accused of counterfeiting charges.
“That’s what makes me the maddest,” Lott said. “After the fact … the deputies knew that we arrested her and convicted her, they continued to go to her knowing that she was a crook.”
Lott said the investigation is ongoing and additional charges could be filed. All of those arrested were transported to the county’s detention center where they will await arraignment. And yes, they’re all innocent until proven guilty.
.@fitsnews and some people still refuse to believe some cops can be corrupt
— Bryan Gamble (@BVGamble) October 30, 2014