Pa. prison guard accused of leading tax-fraud scheme

Posted: February 14, 2014

A STATE PRISON guard now is jailed after police arrested him in a tax-fraud scheme that allegedly netted him and his four accomplices thousands of dollars.

Kenneth Davidson, 38, a corrections officer at the State Correctional Institution at Graterford, allegedly headed the scam, according to the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office. Davidson worked a part-time, seasonal job at H&R Block and used his position there - unknown to his bosses - to file fraudulent tax returns and get refunds worth thousands, according to the D.A.'s office.

Sleuths in the D.A.'s Special Investigations Unit and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General began to look into the stolen-identity scam two years ago.

Davidson allegedly relied on Yvonne Williams, Ahmad Gray and Cardell Jackson to provide the names, birth dates and Social Security numbers of friends; an intermediary created fake W-2 forms that Davidson then used to file bogus tax returns and get refunds that were converted into debit or prepaid cards, according to the D.A.'s office. Each participant then took a cut of the refund as payment. In all, they scammed 14 victims out of $16,000, said Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for the D.A.'s office.

Davidson, of 25th Street near Berks in North Philadelphia, was charged with 104 felonies, including corrupt organization, forgery and theft. He faces a status hearing tomorrow. His co-defendants have not yet surrendered to police. Williams faces 63 felony charges; Gray, 29 felonies; Jackson, 25 felonies; and a fourth conspirator, Herbert Carter, eight.

Wendy Shaylor, a Graterford spokeswoman, said Davidson began working at Graterford in December 2007 and remains employed there. She declined to answer further questions, citing personnel privacy.


On Twitter: @DanaDiFilippo

Blog: phillyconfidential.com

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