Woman who called herself ‘First Lady’ of tax refund fraud sentenced to 21 years in prison; Stole $20 million in tax refunds
Rashia Wilson, the Florida woman who bragged about stealing millions from the IRS on Facebook.com, has been sentenced to 21 years in prison. The 27-year-old mother-of-three pleaded guilty to federal charges, including wire fraud, mail fraud, filing false tax returns, and aggravated identity theft. She dropped her head on the table and sobbed when she heard her punishment, Tampabay.com reports.
Wilson’s 3 children, ages 2 to 12, wailed in open court when the judge denied the defendant a final chance to hug her kids.
The self-professed “first lady” of tax refund fraud admitted stealing more than $3 million in fraudulent income tax refunds. But Federal investigators believe she stole up to $20 million in refunds by filing false tax returns.
Wilson posted photos online showing off her ill-gained riches. She spent lavishly on herself and her children. According to prosecutors, she spent $30,000 on an extravagant birthday party for her 1-year-old, and purchased a fully loaded Audi with a $90,000 money order — all while unemployed and living on public assistance.
In court Tuesday, prosecutors read excerpts from Facebook posts made by Wilson. In one post Wilson bragged about her connections to the Tampa Police Dept. And she challenged the feds to investigate her for income tax fraud.
“I’m a millionaire for the record, so if U think indicting me will B easy it won’t, I promise you! I won’t do no time, dumb b*tch… U need more than black and white to hold me down N that’s to da rat who went N told, as if 1st lady don’t have da TPD under her spell. I run Tampa right now.”
Wilson has been arrested 40 times since age 12. She modeled her image after rap artist Nicki Minaj (pictured above).
Psychologist Valerie McClain testified for the defense Tuesday. She said Wilson suffered from bipolar disorder first diagnosed at age 14. McClain described Wilson’s Facebook posts as “adolescent bragging” consistent with manic-phase behavior.
But the judge wasn’t buying it.
“She knew what she was doing was wrong,” U.S. District Judge James. S. Moody Jr. said after sentencing Wilson. “She reveled in the fact that it was wrong.”
Wilson was also convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm which was found under her mattress. As a felon with prior convictions for grand theft and burglary, Wilson is not permitted to own a gun. She was ordered to pay $3.1 million in restitution to the government.
“I can’t ignore the fact that she stole over $3 million from the government,” Judge Moody said.
15 people were charged in the case, including Wilson’s boyfriend, Maurice “Thirst” Larry, and an associate, Marterrence “Quat” Holloway. They will be sentenced separately on Aug. 6 and Sept. 23.