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Posted: 4:36 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014

Cobb DA: 4 people indicted in ‘massive’ tax fraud scheme

By Angel K. Brooks

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A Cobb County grand jury indicted four people Thursday in a “massive” tax fraud scheme, District Attorney Vic Reynolds said.

The four — Shannon Jay Bradley, 35; Shelronda Kay Bingham, 44; Shanese Machelle Lewis, 42; and Risha Michelle Hardin, 36 — are charged with a total of 3,736 counts, the DA’s office said in a news release.

According to the indictment, the scheme started in 2005. In December 2012, the suspects allegedly burglarized five tax preparation offices in Cobb. In 2013, they allegedly stole more than $2 million in state tax refunds using information from more than 1,800 victims, authorities said.

Charges against the group include identity fraud, computer theft, computer forgery, burglary, evidence tampering, money laundering and racketeering, the DA’s office said.

“It’s obviously a complicated case, given the number of victims, transactions, and charges,” Reynolds said. “I don’t know that Cobb County has ever seen a case with this many charges.”

Multiple agencies, including the Georgia Department of Revenue, the Dallas and Duluth police departments, and the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office, participated in the investigation.

Numerous assets were seized, including a condominium in Buckhead and more than $200,000 in cash, Cobb Sheriff Neil Warren said.

Bradley is in the custody of the state Department of Corrections. Bingham and Lewis were taken into custody Thursday, according to the DA’s office. There was no immediate word on Hardin.

No arraignment date has been set.

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