Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow today sentenced Roslyn Wedington, age 50, of Rosedale, Maryland, to two years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, on the federal charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and for five counts of filing false tax returns. Judge Chasanow also ordered Wedington to pay restitution of $121,592.50.
The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Kelly R. Jackson of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office.
“Roslyn Wedington went to great lengths to avoid paying the taxes she owed,” said Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner. “When criminals cheat the IRS, they are also stealing from all of us as taxpayers. As we head into tax season, let Ms. Wedington’s case and prison sentence be reminders to everyone about the consequences of tax fraud.”
“Roslyn Wedington tried to cheat the government and was caught,” said Jennifer C. Boone, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Baltimore field office. “People who file fraudulent tax returns are committing a crime and, as the sentence today shows, risking serious jail time. The FBI and our law enforcement partners are committed to rooting out violations of the law.”
“Wedington engaged in a scheme to receive a salary free of tax withholdings, yet that was not enough for her. Wedington continued her fraudulent behavior by submitting false income tax returns to the IRS, furthering her efforts to avoid paying taxes,” said Special Agent in Charge Kelly R. Jackson. “The prosecution of individuals, such as Wedington, is vital to maintaining confidence and compliance with our tax laws. Tax fraud investigations remain the core of our agency’s law enforcement efforts.”
According to Wedington’s plea agreement, she was a full-time salaried employee of the Maryland Center for Adult Training, Inc. (MCAT) from 2009 through 2019, initially serving as MCAT’s student coordinator and in 2012 becoming the organization’s Executive Director. MCAT was a non-profit entity that provided training and employment certifications for jobs in the healthcare field. MCAT represented itself to be a private career school accredited by the Maryland Higher Education Commission and the Maryland Board of Nursing. MCAT was an approved “Eligible Training Provider” (ETP) and its name appeared on the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation’s Eligible Training Provider List. As a recognized ETP, MCAT received federal funds, as well as funding from private philanthropic organizations, such as the Abell Foundation and Associated Black Charities. In 2015, former Baltimore City employee Gary Brown, Jr. became Chairman of MCAT’s Board of Directors and obtained signatory authority on MCAT’s bank account.
Wedington admitted that she conspired with Gary Brown to avoid tax withholdings from her payroll checks while Wedington was the Executive Director of MCAT and Brown was the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Specifically, in 2013, Wedington’s salary was garnished due to outstanding student loan debt and medical bills. In order to avoid further garnishments, Wedington asked Brown to take her “off payroll,” which meant that MCAT would no longer submit her name to the payroll service provider for the purpose of calculating taxes to be withheld from her salary. Brown agreed to the arrangement and had MCAT make electronic deposits into his personal bank account in an amount that exceeded the annual salary owed to Wedington, creating the pretense that he was doing work for MCAT as an independent contractor. Brown then wrote checks to Wedington and/or gave her cash equal to or greater than her salary, which was more than $80,000 per year. No taxes were withheld from the funds Brown paid to Wedington, nor did Wedington’s salary go through her bank account, where it could be garnished.
In addition, Wedington admitted that she paid Brown a small fee to prepare fraudulent tax returns for her for tax years 2013 through 2017. The fraudulent tax returns did not report Wedington’s MCAT income and made a variety of false entries, resulting in refunds to which Wedington was not entitled and avoiding over $121,000 in total taxes due and owing.
Former Baltimore City employee Gary Brown, Jr., age 38, of Baltimore, was previously sentenced to 27 months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, two counts of conspiracy to defraud the United States, and for filing a false tax return. Judge Chasanow also ordered Brown to pay restitution of $14,000.
Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the FBI and the IRS Criminal Investigation for their work in the investigation and thanked the U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations – Labor Racketeering and Fraud, the Maryland State Prosecutor’s Office, and the Baltimore City Office of Inspector General for their assistance. Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Martin J. Clarke and Leo J. Wise, who are prosecuting the case.
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