Patricia A. Polk, of Youngstown, gets a 21-month federal prison term for tax fraud

By Peter H. Milliken


The first of four Mahoning County residents who have pleaded guilty in a $3 million tax-fraud conspiracy case was sentenced in federal court.

Patricia A. Polk, 50, of Youngstown, drew a 21-month prison term Thursday from U.S. District Judge Patricia A. Gaughan, with credit for the time she has been jailed without bond since her Feb. 28, 2012, arrest in Sarasota, Fla.

Polk pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States in the case, which the U.S. attorney said bilked the federal government out of more than $3 million.

Restitution will be ordered, with the amount to be determined soon, said John Siegel, an assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting the case.

Polk will be on supervised release for three years after she leaves prison.

Three other defendants in the case await sentencing: William E. Phillips III, 55, of Youngstown, at 11 a.m. Jan. 22; Steven R. Hinz, 41, of Youngstown, at 9 a.m. Jan. 30; and Heather L. English, 43, of Canfield, at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 6.

Phillips and Hinz are jailed without bond pending sentencing, but English is free on a $20,000 unsecured bond.

The indictment says Hinz promoted a scheme to defraud the government by filing false federal income-tax returns claiming large tax refunds using the original issue discount process.

The scheme involved preparation of fictitious IRS forms that falsely reported that financial institutions, creditors and other entities had withheld large amounts of federal income tax on behalf of defendants and other taxpayers with respect to nonexistent income, the U.S. attorney said.

After the indictment was filed in December 2011, Hinz was arrested in Miami in January 2012. Phillips was arrested in Los Angeles in June after being deported from the Philippines at the U.S. government’s request.

English surrendered to U.S. marshals in Cleveland after learning of the warrant for her arrest.

The case was investigated by the IRS, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Subscribe Today

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive daily news.

Want more? Click here to subscribe to either the Print or Digital Editions.