Chicago woman convicted of cashing her deceased grandmother's pension checks
CHICAGO - A Chicago woman has been convicted on fraud and tax offenses for cashing her deceased grandmother's pension checks and preparing false tax returns.
Eunice Salley, 37, was found guilty on all 29 counts against her, including pension fraud, embezzlement, mail fraud and tax charges, prosecutors said.
Salley worked as a paid tax return preparer.
In 2016 and 2017, she prepared and filed 22 false individual income tax returns with the IRS on behalf of clients, prosecutors said during her trial.
The returns sought more than $1 million in false refunds. They contained fictitious wages and withholdings, as well as false medical, charitable and employment-related expenses, prosecutors said.
Salley then demanded many of her clients pay her up to 50 percent of the refund as well as her regular preparation fee.
Salley's grandmother died in 2009, and her monthly pension checks continued to be delivered to the residence where Salley lived, prosecutors said.
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From January 2013 to December 2017, 33 pension checks, totaling $14,131, were issued to the grandmother and deposited into one of six bank accounts that were controlled by Salley.
Salley also notarized and submitted affidavits under her grandmother's name to the pension plan administrator. She fraudulently said that the grandmother was alive.
She also did not report approximately $5,000 in income she received in 2017 from the pension checks she embezzled.
A federal jury returned the verdicts Friday after a four-day trial.
Salley's sentencing is scheduled for July 21.