Modified: June 22, 2020 3:17pm
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 35-year-old Stephanie E. Izevbizua of Buffalo has been sentenced by State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia to time served.
In March 2018, the defendant, who was the owner and only employee of Web Debt Solutions, filed a personal income tax return claiming wage earnings of $7,500.00. On this initial tax return, Izevbizua requested an $878.00 refund.
Several weeks later, the defendant filed an amended tax return claiming wages in excess of $5 million from Web Debt Solutions. This amended return noted nearly $515,000.00 in withholding and requested a refund. After submitting other amended returns, she fraudulently requested another refund of approximately $39,000.00.
As the owner of Web Debt Solutions, the defendant only paid the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance a total of $7.97 in withholding. In her capacity as the only employee, the defendant requested the refund of approximately $39,000.00. The defendant as owner of the company knew that withholding tax was not paid, and defendant wanted a refund based on full payment as an employee.
Izevbizua pleaded guilty to one count of Attempted Criminal Tax Fraud in the Third Degree, a Class “E” felony, on March 16, 2020.
The defendant was arrested on March 1, 2019 when she arrived in-person to pick up a refund check, which she attempted to claim using false information. She was held on $100,000.00 bail until the date of her plea when she was released pending sentence.
DA Flynn commends the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance’s Criminal Investigations Division for their work in this investigation.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Karen A. Korkuc and Assistant District Attorney Robin J. Deubler of the DA’s Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit.