Buckhead man admits guilt in $1 million tax refund scheme

A Buckhead man pleaded guilty Friday to 45 charges related to a major tax fraud scheme and was ordered back to prison, the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office said.

Shannon Jay Bradley, 35, pleaded guilty to racketeering, money laundering, identity fraud and burglary charges for filing fraudulent Georgia and federal tax returns in 2013, netting more than $1 million, DA Vic Reynolds said.

In December 2012, five tax preparation offices in Cobb County were burglarized, and investigators later tracked their computer systems to Bradley. Identifying information of more than 1,859 people contained on the computers’ servers were used to file the returns, Reynolds said.

Bradley was sentenced to 40 years, with 12 years to serve in custody and the rest on supervised probation. He was ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution to the Georgia Department of Revenue, and he also forfeited all property seized during the investigation, including nearly $300,000 in cash, four residences including a Buckhead condominium, a 2012 Porsche Panamera, and a 2007 Chevrolet truck, Reynolds said.

During the hearing, Bradley exonerated his two sisters, who were also charged in the case, saying they had no involvement in the scheme. Charges were dismissed against the sisters, Shelronda Kay Bingham, 44, and Shanese Machelle Lewis, 42, both of Austell.

Charges remain against the fourth defendant, Risha Michelle Hardin, 36, who is in custody in Florida and will be extradited to Georgia to face charges.

At the time of Bradley’s plea, he was already in state prison on a prior identity fraud case, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.

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