Crime - Sacto 911

Woman sentenced in prison-related tax fraud scheme

A Nevada City woman convicted in a tax fraud scheme involving California prison inmates has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison.

Judy Ruth Mullin, 27, was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. and ordered to pay $219,984 in restitution for her role in a conspiracy to defraud the United States with false claims for tax refunds, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release.

Court documents indicate that, beginning in 2011, Mullin and six co-defendants operated a tax fraud scheme out of the California Correctional Center in Susanville. Four co-defendants incarcerated at the correctional center obtained personal identification information of other inmates. That information was provided to Mullin and other co-defendants outside the prison, who prepared and filed false income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service, claiming refunds that they knew were false and to which the inmates were not entitled.

Mullin opened a bank account in which to deposit the fraudulently obtained refunds and transferred the refunds to the prison accounts of the incarcerated co-defendants. Mullin also personally received money in return for her participation in the scheme, authorities said.

The conspiracy resulted in at least 247 false claims for income tax returns in tax years 2008 through 2011. Although the IRS stopped some of the refunds, authorities said, approximately 138 fraudulent refunds totaling approximately $219,984 were issued.

On July 8, 2015, Edwin Ludwig IV was sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in the scheme. Two other co-defendants have pleaded guilty and are to be sentenced in August. Charges against the remaining three co-defendants are pending, authorities said.

The case resulted from an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Investigative Services Unit at the California Correctional Center.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy