Two area residents have been ordered to federal prison for their participation in a scheme to obtain tax refunds in the names of others, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Carey Jermaine Johnson aka Jermaine Johnson, 38, of Houston, and Tarmera Renee Wyckoff aka Toni Wyckoff, 39 of Richmond, had each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, conspiracy to make false claims to the IRS and making a false claim to the IRS.

Today, U.S. District Judge Gray Miller ordered Johnson to serve 28 months in prison, while Wyckoff will serve a 41-month-term. Johnson and Wyckoff were further ordered to pay $705,323 and $472,591.37 in restitution, respectively. A third defendant – Cheryl Reed Johnson aka Shawnee Reed and Cheryl Reed, 38, of Humble, is set for sentencing on Sept. 10, 2015.

The scheme for which all were convicted involved the electronic submission of federal tax returns in the names of numerous individuals, each of which falsely claimed tax credits that resulted in a refund. The defendants directed most of those refunds into their bank accounts or those of their co-conspirators. The co-conspirators claimed more than $2,261,000 in false first time home buyer credits on the 2008 returns filed with the IRS. Those fraudulent claims resulted in the defendants and their co-conspirators claiming more than $2,329,000 in fraudulent refunds.

Carey Johnson was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future. Wyckoff and Cheryl Johnson will remain in custody.

This investigation was conducted by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Annis is prosecuting the case.