JOHNSTOWN – A town of Mayfield woman pleaded guilty Tuesday in Fulton County Court in a case involving the filing of fraudulent income-tax returns in other people’s names.
Crystal Sweet, 38, of 140 Paradise Point Road, pleaded guilty before Judge Polly A. Hoye to two felony counts of third-degree grand larceny as part of a plea arrangement.
Sentencing was adjourned until Nov. 19, but Sweet faces a state prison term of three to six years. She will also be required to make restitution to the state Department of Taxation and Finance.
In a news release issued Thursday, county District Attorney Louise Sira said Sweet admitted to stealing $23,918 from the Department of Taxation and Finance by filing fraudulent tax returns in the names of nine Fulton County residents.
Sira said the victims had no knowledge of what Sweet was doing.
She said Sweet used her “social connections” to get personal information about people.
“I’ve never had a tax case this big where it involved such a large number of people who were victimized,” Sira said.
Sweet was indicted by a county grand jury on two counts. One count stated that between April 25, 2012, and February 15, 2013, while living at 462 Nine Mile Tree Road, she stole $16,592 from the Department of Taxation & Finance. The other count said that between Feb. 1, 2010, and April 1, 2012, while living at 10 North St., Gloversville, she stole $7,326 from the state.
“Ms. Sweet took advantage of those less sophisticated than she by using and comingling their personal, identifying information to defraud the state and taxpayers and hijack their tax returns.,” Sira stated.
Charges against Sweet included grand larceny, identity theft and offering a false instrument for filing.
Sweet reported false employment and earned income on the tax returns, authorities said.