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PHOENIX—Jermaine Lewter was sentenced to the Arizona Department of Corrections for a term of one and a half years for failing to file an Arizona Individual Income Tax Return for his part in a telemarketing scheme that defrauded several individuals.
This criminal investigation was a joint effort of the Criminal Investigations Units at the Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR) and the Special Investigations Section of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.
The investigation revealed that between January 2018 and December 2018, Jermaine Lewter and Fallon Danica Woods were marketing business opportunities to individuals over the telephone. Having worked in the telemarketing business for a period of time, Lewter began contacting individuals known to have been defrauded in the past through various telemarketing scams selling business opportunities, and promising them an opportunity to recover the money they had previously lost for an additional fee.
In Arizona, income from illegal activities, such as theft, must be reported on a resident’s individual income tax return. In this case, Lewter and Woods failed to file an Arizona Individual Income Tax Return for tax year 2018.
On December 5, 2018 Lewter and Woods were indicted on charges of Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, Illegal Control of an Enterprise, Theft, and Failure to File Individual Taxes.
On November 4, 2021, Lewter plead guilty to one count of Theft and one count of Failure to File Individual Taxes. In addition to the prison sentence, he was sentenced to probation for five years, and ordered to pay restitution to victims in the amount of $68,268.41, to the Arizona Department of Revenue in the amount of $2,379, a fine in the amount of $5,000, and ordered to cooperate in a civil audit conducted by the Arizona Department of Revenue.
Lewter’s co-defendant, Fallon Woods, plead guilty to one count of Theft and one count of Failure to File Individual Taxes and was ordered to pay over $40,000 in restitution and fines. She was sentenced to supervised probation for a term of three years, and ordered to pay restitution to victims in the amount of $34,716.50, the Arizona Department of Revenue in the amount of $964, a fine of $5,000, and to cooperate in a civil audit conducted by the Arizona Department of Revenue.
Many of the department’s criminal case referrals come from public tips. Tips can be submitted online by completing and emailing Criminal Investigation Information Referral. Tipsters may choose to remain anonymous.
*The ADOR Fraud Hotline previously maintained phone number, (602) 542-4023, is no longer in service.
Thursday, February 3, 2022