Woman pleads guilty in tax fraud

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WMAR) - A former state employee pleaded guilty today to charges of filing false income tax returns.

Crystal Banks, 31, pleaded guilty to three counts of filing fraudulent income tax returns. She was sentenced to three years in prison, but all were suspended. Banks was also ordered to pay restitution of $1,476.00 to the state during her probation.

"This case demonstrates that state employees who defraud the people of Maryland will be held accountable," said Attorney General Douglas Gansler. "The vast majority of Maryland's civil servants are honest, hardworking taxpayers who applaud our efforts and often assist in combating fraud and corruption."

Banks was working as a caseworker with the Dorchester County Department of Social Services, but an investigation was launched after her supervisors got word that she was claiming the child of one of her Social Services clients as her own dependent.

Banks claimed the child as a dependent on her tax forms for three years, resulting in a larger refund. Bank later admitted to the fraudulent filings.

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