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Attorney General Nessel brings down 12-person racketeering ring in Detroit

Posted: 12:32 PM, Feb 16, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-16 18:54:51Z
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LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Thursday the bringing down of a multi-person racketeering ring in Detroit.

Nessel brought charges against the ring, "cracking down on an apparent tax fraud scheme in which the defendants used false social security numbers to illegally cash in on more than $100,000 in Homestead Property Tax Credits from the Michigan Department of Treasury."

The alleged scheme happened between Feb. 2014 and April 2018.

Once tax credit applications were filed with the Michigan Department of Treasury and funds were received by the defendants, they then split the proceeds with ring leaders Persalyn Willams and Lamar Johnson. All defendants listed address for themselves or others involved in the scheme as the place to receive the checks. None of the defendants were entitled to the credit. The Department of Treasury referred the case to the Michigan Department of Attorney General after a standard audit of the returns showed potential illegal activity.

Charges include:

  • Persalyn Williams, 41, is charged with one count of CCE (Conducting a Criminal Enterprise), two counts of larceny by false pretenses. She allegedly received more than $50,000 from the scheme;
  • Lamar Johnson, 38, is charged with one count of RCE (Receiving Proceeds from a Criminal Enterprise), two counts of larceny by false pretenses. He allegedly received more than $15,000 from the scheme;
  • William Mattox, 48, is charged with one count of RCE and three counts of larceny by false pretenses. He allegedly cashed $8,846 in rebate checks;
  • Sherry Gallmore, 26, is charged with one count of RCE and two counts of larceny by false pretenses. She allegedly cashed $8,529 in rebate checks;
  • Lashwanda Huffman-Williams, 42, is charged with one count of RCE and two counts of larceny by false pretenses. She allegedly cashed $25,399 in rebate checks;
  • Claud Sherman Huffman, 59, is charged with one count of RCE and three counts of larceny by false pretenses. He allegedly cashed $11,953 in rebate checks;
  • Crystal Dail, 56, is charged with one count of RCE and two counts of larceny by false pretenses. She allegedly cashed $3,991 in rebate checks;
  • Elizabeth Davis, 37, is charged with one count of RCE, two counts of larceny by false pretenses. She allegedly cashed $5,888 in rebate checks;
  • Krystal Allen, 36, is charged with one count of larceny by false pretenses and one count of conspiracy. She allegedly cashed $5,866 in rebate checks; and
  • Anthony Sykes, 28, is charged with one count of larceny by false pretenses. He allegedly cashed $1,995 in rebate checks.

Two more people are expected to be charged as part of the racketeering ring.

“It’s unfortunate these individuals appear to have taken advantage of a tax credit designed to give working families and individuals a helping hand,” Nessel said. “I want today’s actions to send a crystal-clear message to those who abuse our tax system: You will be held accountable for your actions.”

The defendants are due back in court for probable cause hearings on Feb. 19.