Items obtained in tax fraud to be forfeited

A city woman awaiting sentencing in federal court on a conspiracy to commit income tax fraud and wire fraud has been ordered to forfeit expensive handbags, shoes, hats, televisions and cell phones she obtained in the scheme.

Cheryl N. Cobia, 28, oversaw a conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service out of more than $1 million between 2009 and 2011.

This week, U.S. Middle District Court Judge Matthew W. Brann this week ordered all property and profits involved in the conspiracy to be forfeited.

The list included four televisions, five handbags, two hats, two pair of shoes, six cellphones and a camera.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Wayne P. Samuelson described the scam as an “extensive income tax scheme operated on her laptop from her home.”

Cobia attempted to get more than $1 million in tax refunds and was successful in receiving $826,111 in tax refunds using deceptive means, he said. She also made false statements when applying for food stamp and Medical Assistance benefits.

Sentencing for Cobia is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. June 19. Cobia remains in detention at a nearby prison.