3 more arrests made in Mt. Pleasant refund scam

Tameka Coakley (provided)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The South Carolina Department of Revenue is investigating a tax refund scam involving several people in Mt. Pleasant and Charleston.

According to the SCDOR, three people were arrested Monday for their parts in preparing fraudulent tax returns.Tameka Coakley was arrested for one count of assisting in the preparation of a false tax return and one count of forgery. If convicted of the charges, Coakley could face penalties of up to $500 in fines and/or 10 years in prison.Investigators checked out Coakley's 2008 income tax returns and believe that her state tax return was filed by a tax preparer using fraudulent W2 forms provided by Coakley from her employer.The SCDOR says the investigation found Coakley worked for this employer in 2008, but she manipulated the wages and withholding information and got a SC income tax refund of $685.Tameka Coakley is the fourth individual to be arrested by SCDOR for tax fraud surrounding this tax refund scam in the Charleston area.Another woman, 36-year-old Darcell Zenobia Lockwood was also arrested Monday. Lockwood is charged with assisting in the preparation of a fraudulent return and forgery.After reviewing Lockwood's 2009 income tax returns, the SCDOR says their investigation showed Lockwood, a Mt. Pleasant resident, submitted a fraudulent W2 form to a tax preparer, saying she worked for a certain employer when she actually did not. {}Investigators say the use of the W2 form resulted in Lockwood receiving a fraudulent SC income tax refund in the amount of $717. If convicted of the charges, Lockwood could face up to $500 in fines and/or 15 years in prison. Finally, 25-year-old Robert Vanderhorst was arrested for similar charges. Investigators say he filed a fraudulent W2 for an employer he did not work for. Officials with the SCDOR say his return totaled $679. He could face up to $500 in fines and/or 15 years in prison, according to investigators from the SC Department of Revenue.