Woman’s fraud charges pile up
IRS, FBI working on case against Denton resident
12:48 AM CST on Saturday, January 14, 2012
By Donna Fielder / Staff Writer
Federal agents arrested a Denton woman Friday morning on charges ranging from filing false income tax returns and aggravated identity theft to misuse of a Social Security number and wire fraud based on mortgage fraud. She was taken to Plano, where she will remain in jail pending a detention hearing Tuesday.
Lynetta Mae Washington, who is also known under a series of aliases, is accused of using her deceased mother’s Social Security number to file for tax refunds in 2006 and 2007 and of using the same false identity to renew her real estate license during those and later years.
IRS Special Agent Mike Lemoine said Friday that the case is a cooperative effort between the IRS and the FBI. The case was filed in Austin, Lemoine said, because many of the crimes allegedly took place while she lived there.
“This is the type of crime typically committed by street-level criminals rather than white-collar criminals,” Lemoine said in a telephone interview. “It is rampant in society.”
Lemoine said he was limited in releasing indictment information because a trial is pending. Federal privacy laws prohibit releasing Washington’s date of birth or photograph, he said.
She is known to federal agents by other names including Lynetta Washington-Hill, M. Lynette Washington-Hill, Lynetta Luciano, Lynetta Jackson and Lynetta Spruiell, the agent said.
There are nine counts in the indictment, all concerning documents filed using false names and Social Security numbers to obtain tax refunds and money from falsifying loan applications.
The Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending also allege Washington to have used her deceased mother’s identity to obtain a license as a loan officer. She allegedly used this false identity to obtain loans on behalf of at least one mortgage company, according to the indictment.
From 2006 to 2009, she allegedly used this identity in a scheme to obtain mortgage loans for clients by inflating and falsifying borrowers’ qualification information to be considered by lenders in the application process.
Washington allegedly falsified loan applications with untrue and inflated numbers without the knowledge or consent of the actual borrowers. She then allegedly benefited by receiving commissions as a loan officer, according to the indictment.
Lemoine said she could receive up to five years’ imprisonment for each of the two income tax fraud cases, up to two years for each of five counts of misuse of a Social Security number, and up to 30 years each for the two wire fraud cases stemming from the loan officer violations. Sentences would run consecutively, he said.
DONNA FIELDER can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.