Buckhead man returning to prison after admitting guilt in $1 million state tax fraud scheme

Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds announces that a Buckhead man has pleaded guilty in a major tax fraud scheme.

Shannon Jay Bradley, 35, pleaded guilty today to 45 charges, including racketeering, money laundering, identity fraud, and burglary. Investigators found that in December 2012, five tax-preparation offices in Cobb County were burglarized, with Mr. Bradley quickly coming into possession of the computer servers that were stolen. Identifying information of more than 1,859 people contained on those servers were used to file fraudulent Georgia and federal tax returns in 2013, netting more than $1 million in state tax refunds.

After Mr. Bradley admitted his guilt, Cobb Superior Court Judge Reuben M. Green accepted the state’s recommendation and sentenced him to 40 years, with 12 years to serve in custody and the rest on supervised probation. He was ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution to the Georgia Department of Revenue, and he also forfeited all property seized during the investigation, including nearly $300,000 in cash, four residences including a Buckhead condominium, a 2012 Porshe Panamera, and a 2007 Chevrolet truck.

“I am grateful that Judge Green saw that a white-collar criminal may not have a gun pointed at your face, but the effects of what they do can be just as devastating, or more so,” said Deputy Chief ADA John Melvin, who prosecuted this case. “This sentence takes away the fruits of the crime, and imposes substantial prison time and restitution.”

“This case was the culmination of an extensive cooperative investigation by the Cobb County Sheriff’s Department, Paulding County Sheriff’s Department, City Police Departments of Acworth, Dallas and Duluth, as well as the Georgia Department of Revenue and the Department of Corrections,” Mr. Melvin added. “The unique nature of this multijurisdictional investigation demonstrates our combined resolve to put an end to this kind of crime.”

Decatur attorney Michael Maloof represented Mr. Bradley, who has previously been convicted in eight felony cases in Cobb and other Georgia counties, as well as in Indiana.

During Friday’s hearing, Mr. Bradley exonerated his two sisters, who were also charged in the case, saying they had no involvement in the scheme.

The state later dismissed the charges against the sisters, Shelronda Kay Bingham, 44, and Shanese Machelle Lewis, 42, both of Austell.

Charges remain against the fourth defendant, Risha Michelle Hardin, 36, who is in custody in Florida and will be extradited to Georgia to face these charges. As part of his plea agreement, Mr. Bradley will be required to testify truthfully in that case.

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