A federal judge threw the book at Tampa's self-proclaimed "Queen of Tax Fraud," Rashia Wilson, today. He sentenced her to 21 years in prison and even denied her request to hug her kids one final time.
Federal prosecutors say Wilson stole at least $3-million from taxpayers by filing fraudulent IRS tax returns -- even as she claimed poverty and collected food stamps.
Court documents say Wilson used the money for "personal greed and glorification." They say she splurged on jewelry, cars, parties, and trips. One vehicle, an Audi, was worth over $90,000, according to prosecutors. They say she threw a birthday party for her daughter that cost more than $30,000 and included carnival rides and games.
Prosecutors say Wilson devised a scheme involving stolen IDs which were used to file millions in fraudulent tax returns. Part of her downfall included pictures she posted on Facebook where she flaunted her wealth, holding up stacks of cash. Prosecutors say she thumbed her nose at the government and at taxpayers.
The government asked for a sentence heavy enough to protect the public from future fraudulent crimes Wilson may commit.
But her defense attorney made a case for leniency. A psychologist told the court Wilson was a "crack baby," having been born to a crack-addicted mother. The psychologist also said Wilson was bipolar, a condition that can lead to extreme behavior.
The courtroom was packed with family members and supporters of Wilson. Some broke down in tears and reacted with outrage after the sentence. Most did not want to talk to the media, but a man identifying himself as Wilson's uncle seemed resigned to the situation. He said it is a sad day for the family, but they will have to accept it. He told FOX 13 that Wilson supported her large family.
As she was being sentenced, Wilson asked the judge if she could hug her children one last time before heading to prison. The judge denied it.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
Didn't find what you were looking for?