Roanoke Woman Pleads Guilty to Theft of Public Money | USAO-WDVA

ROANOKE, Va. – A Roanoke woman, who conspired with others to enrich themselves by obtaining federal income tax refunds from the IRS to which they were not entitled, pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court in Roanoke, United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen announced.

Michelle Coppola, 59, a resident of Roanoke, Va., pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of conspiring to knowingly and willfully commit the offense of theft of public money. Coppola will be sentenced November 13, 2020.

Coppola admitted today to conspiring with Osazuwa Peter Okunoghae, and others, from August 2012 through April 2014 in the Western District of Virginia and Eastern District of Texas to steal IRS tax refunds that were not their own.

According to court documents, Coppola knew the IRS tax refunds she was receiving were not her own and that it was therefore illegal for her to receive them. Throughout the course of the scheme, Coppola received approximately $53,470 is fraudulent IRS tax refunds to which she was not entitled.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service. The prosecution of Coppola and her co-conspirators is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Charlene R. Day for the Western District of Virginia and Assistant United States Attorney Nathaniel C. Kummerfeld for the Eastern District of Texas.

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