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updated: 4/14/2014 6:10 PM

Woodridge man among those charged with tax fraud

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Federal authorities on Monday announced tax fraud charges against three people, including a Woodridge man who they say participated in a scheme to falsely claim tax refunds.

Willis Patton, 43, of Woodridge; Stevie Shelton, 54, of Chicago, and Kenya Bond, 35, of Chicago are accused of fraudulently obtaining about $180,000 after filing 173 fictitious returns, federal prosecutors said in a prepared statement.

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The defendants are charged with wire fraud. Patton and Bond are also charged with making false claims and Shelton is charged with theft of government funds.

Bond reportedly "misappropriated the names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth of 29 patients of the suburban Woodridge dentist's officer where she worked," according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors say she gave the information to Patton who used it to file 173 fictitious 2011 tax returns containing false information about income and tax withholdings. Patton had the Internal Revenue Service send the refunds to bank accounts which Shelton and others controlled, according to the indictment. Prosecutors say Patton actually controlled the accounts and that he recruited Shelton and others to open and maintain them.

In other recent cases, federal authorities charged 53-year-old Victor Shaw of Dolton with misdemeanor counts of failing to file income tax returns from 2007 to 2012.

Retired Chicago police officer Ronald Muhammad, 63, and his wife, Wilhelmenia Muhammad, 64, a retired Social Security Administration employee, were charged with tax evasion and failing to file federal income tax returns from 2001 to 2010. They will be arraigned Wednesday in federal court.

And 61-year-old Lockport businessman Paul West, who sells materials for recycling, was charged with underreporting his income from 2007 and 2011 and failing to file income tax returns in 2008 through 2010. West, also known as Thomas Wilson and Tom Wilson, will be arraigned at a later date, as will Shaw, authorities said.

A wire fraud conviction carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Tax evasion carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Filing a false income tax returns carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

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