N.C. woman accused in tax fraud scheme approaching $3.8 million

Posted Aug. 12, 2012, at 9:08 p.m.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte, N.C., woman has been accused in a tax scheme to defraud the government of more than $3.8?million.

In court documents filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, 40-year-old Candida Mayo Figueroa was named as a suspect.

Federal authorities said the U.S. Postal Service intercepted an “extraordinarily large number” of mailings from the U.S. Treasury Department that appeared to contain checks going to several apartments close to one another in Charlotte. The Postal Service alerted investigators because the names on the mail were people not known to receive mail at those addresses.

Authorities said much of the mail was sent to homes in the Arrowood Crossing apartment complex in southwest Charlotte, and that Figueroa had been seen pulling mail from multiple mailboxes there.

Investigators said they sent five addresses to the IRS, which linked 804 individual income tax returns to those addresses. There was no history of the taxpayers identified on the forms living at the homes listed, authorities said.

The fraudulent returns were filed between January and June, and the total amount of refunds claimed was $3,804,184, according to court documents.

Sikh temple holds 1st Sunday service since attack

OAK CREEK, Wis. — Hundreds of people who gathered at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee spoke of unity, strength and rebirth during the first Sunday service there since a gunman killed six people before fatally shooting himself.

The service capped a weekend of events meant to honor the victims and restore the temple as a place of worship. While there were still tears and red eyes, many participants said healing was under way.

The proceedings began in the parking lot with a “nishan sahib,” or a ceremony in which participants clean a Sikh flagpole to symbolize the temple’s rebirth.

Women sang hymns as a group lowered the pole. About 50 people, mostly men and boys, unwrapped a faded orange cloth that covered the pole, washed the pole with water and milk and then rewrapped it with a darker orange cloth. The group then filed inside the temple for more prayers and hymns.

Wade Michael Page, 40, used a 9 mm pistol to kill six people and wound four others, including a police officer, in an ambush that took place shortly before a service was to begin Aug. 5. He shot himself after being wounded by another police officer.

Powerball jackpot rises to $305 million

ATLANTA — The Powerball jackpot has grown to $305 million for Wednesday’s drawing.

The prize grew after no one matched all six numbers in the multi-state lottery drawing Saturday night. The winning numbers were: 4, 13, 39, 46 and 51. The Powerball was 1.

Although no one hit the jackpot, several people made out nicely. Five Powerball tickets won $1 million because they matched five of the six winning numbers, according to the official Powerball website. The million-dollar tickets were sold in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that no one has won big in Powerball since June 23, when a couple from Connecticut won $60 million.

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