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Rapper sentenced to prison in $27 million fraud scheme

By Sarah May
|
February 26, 2023

As a result of guilty pleas entered earlier this year, rapper Sameerah Marrell, formerly of Detroit, was sentenced to four and one half years in prison for taking part in an elaborate scheme to defraud the Internal Revenue Service as well as the taxing authorities in six different states, as Fox Business reports.

Marrell, also known by the names Sameerah Anderson, Sameerah Pickett, Creme, and Loren Boyd, will also be responsible for paying restitution in the amount of $7.9 million and must serve three years of supervised release after she is released from prison.

Expansive scheme explained

Marrell, 42, who was part of the female rap act known as “Deuces Wild” collaborated with others to fraudulently obtain more than $27 million worth of tax refunds to which they were not entitled, as a Friday press release from the IRS explained.

According to federal prosecutors, Marrell filed 122 false tax returns with the IRS as well as with state treasury departments in Colorado, Connecticut, Arizona, Georgia, Minnesota, and Maryland, ultimately attempting to receive over $13.6 million from the IRS and $14.7 million in total from the states.

Shockingly, Marrell persisted in her scheme even after she had already been arrested for making false claims to federal taxing authorities, as Fox Business further noted.

The false assertions of fact included claims that the taxing agencies had withheld significant sums from the trusts that were purporting to file legitimate returns, and that as a result, those trusts were entitled to sizable refunds. Before the fraud was discovered, Marrell and her co-conspirators succeeded in securing more than $8.5 million in ill-gotten gains.

Offender on the run

Back in October, Detroit Fox affiliate WJBK reported that Marrell was on the run after having failed to appear for a number of court dates in the aforementioned fraud case, including a proceeding at which she was expected to enter a guilty plea.

After missing numerous meetings with court personnel, pretrial services, and even her own legal counsel, Judge Linda Parker issued an arrest warrant and revoked bond.

It was also discovered at that time that Marrell had made representations that she was employed at a wig shop in suburban Detroit that may not have ever existed.

Ultimately, after multiple unsuccessful attempts by court officials and Marrell's lawyers to reach the accused fraudster, a visit was paid to her home, where a man declined to reveal her whereabouts, and it was soon after that the warrant was issued for her arrest.

Marrell caught

In December, WJBK further reported that Marrell had been apprehended in Tennessee and was taken into custody by authorities.

At the same time, Marrell's defense attorney, Steven Fishman, filed a motion to withdraw from the matter, citing her arrest out of state on a bench warrant as evidence of the deterioration of their communication.

“Based on the above, it is clear to defense counsel that the attorney client relationship between him and Ms. Marrell has entirely broken down and cannot be repaired,” Fishman declared.

On Jan. 11 of this year, Marrell finally pleaded guilty to counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, and committing an offense while on bond, as the IRS press release noted, setting the stage for the sentence she received last week.

“Astonishing amount of fraud”

In announcing the defendant's sentence, United States Attorney Dawn Ison stated, according to the IRS press release, “Ms. Marrell committed an astonishing amount of fraud against federal and state agencies. She also proved herself incorrigible, continuing her scams even after her initial arrest.”

“We hope that today's sentence will deter both Ms. Marrell and anyone else who seeks to steal public funds for private gain,” Ison added.

Charles Miller, acting special agent in charge of IRS Criminal Investigation in Detroit, said, “Today's sentencing again emphasizes that the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Attorney's office will continue their aggressive pursuit of those who use fraudulent methods in an attempt to corrupt our nation's tax system.”

“Honest taxpayers have been reassured today that no one is above the law, especially when the integrity of tax administration is at stake,” Miller concluded.