J’can Woman Gets Lengthy Prison Sentence in the United States For Tax Refund Fraud

Pamella Watson, a 61-year-old  Jamaican accountant in South Florida has received a lengthy prison sentence in the United States for her actions in a US$3.6 million tax refund scheme.

According to the ObserverPamella Watson, 61, had hoped that her charitable work and “extraordinary” efforts to pay restitution for her crimes would persuade the judge to give her a light sentence, but US District Judge James Cohn rejected that argument, sentencing her Thursday to 6.5 years in US federal prison.

Judge Cohn also ordered Watson to pay more than US$3.68 million in restitution.

“Quite honestly, I don’t believe it’s deserved in this case; so I’m going to decline the invitation,” Cohn said.


Watson, of Davie, Florida, had pulled together more than US$1.2 million in restitution to turn over to the Internal Revenue Service in the seven months she was jailed for fraud, which targeted members of the Jamaican community she claimed she was helping.

Pamella Watson via
Pamella Watson via

Her lawyers suggested a prison term of 3.5 years, and the prosecution recommended that she serve a little more than five years in prison, saying she deserved credit for repaying so much of her debt so quickly, the paper said.

Watson admitted she falsified hundreds of tax returns and refund amounts on IRS forms without her clients’ knowledge.

The court was told that she diverted money to her own accounts and to her spouse, who told the judge he never suspected her criminality until she was arrested in May.

Watson, currently a US citizen migrated from Jamaica in the 1970s and  ran her own CPA business in Miami for several years. She also volunteered for many South Florida charities and organizations.

Source: The Observer

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