Lexington woman convicted on tax fraud charges

A Lexington woman was convicted by a federal jury Thursday for filing four fraudulent income tax returns and refusing to allow the Internal Revenue Service to collect checks.

Winona Jean Cox, 40, was found guilty of four counts of filing false tax claims and one count of interfering with the administration of the internal revenue laws, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

According to the release, Cox falsely claimed over $477,000 in tax refunds from 2005 to 2008. She over-reported interest income and tax withholding, using counterfeit IRS forms, and then submitted claims for tax refunds based on those inflated amounts.

After Cox was mailed a tax refund check for one of the fraudulent returns, she attempted not to allow the IRS to recover the money, by assigning the titles to her three homes and her car to other people and transferring most of the refund into a bank account under a different name, the release said.

Cox faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison on the false tax refunds, and three years in prison for interfering with the IRS. She is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 14.