Three Horry County women charged with tax fraud

Three Horry County women were charged Friday in tax-related scams, according to a news release from the S.C. Department of Revenue.

On Friday, state revenue officials said in a release that Lacy Denise Chestnut, 28, Pamela Chanell Gaffney, 28, and Denise Williams Manasse, who is listed on the J. Reuben Long Detention Center website as Denise Lawanda Williams, 33, were each charged with filing false tax returns.

The women are being held at J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

During the 2011 tax year, the women separately presented fraudulent W2 forms to a tax service in order to have an income tax return prepared, according to the release.

Chestnut’s fraudulent W2 tax form stated that she earned wages of $16,899 and had $760 in state wages withheld. Even though she did work for the employer indicated on the form, Chestnut of Myrtle Beach inflated the wages and withholding amounts claiming a $674 state income tax refund.

Gaffney of Conway presented a fraudulent W2 form from an employer where she did work during that time, but it was modified to show that Gaffney’s wages totaled $16,400 and $738 in state wages withheld, therefore claiming a tax refund of $581 to which she was not entitled, according to the release.

Also for the 2011 tax year, Williams of Conway altered an employer W2 form to show that she had earned wages of $16,750 and $753 in state withholding taxes. Williams presented the fraudulent W2 to a tax preparer and claimed a fraudulent tax refund of $753, according to the release.

If convicted of the charge, each of the women could face penalties of up to five years in prison and/or $500 in charges.