WSBT-TV Photo (May 20, 2013)

SOUTH BEND — A woman targeted in a pre-dawn shooting today had recently admitted that she led a scheme that used bogus tax returns to defraud the government of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Gigi M. Riley, 32, was shot twice about 4:14 a.m. at her home in the 1200 block of South 30th Street after she awoke to a loud bang and encountered a shadowy figure at the front door when she went to investigate, police said.
City police Capt. Phil Trent said the intruder may have kicked in the door. When Riley came to the door, the intruder shot her twice — including once in the abdomen — and fled, Trent said.

At least one other resident, a man, also was sleeping in the home at the time of the shooting, but police do not believe Riley was a random victim, Trent said.

“We do not believe this was random at all,” he said. “I really can’t say anything else, other than we don’t believe it was random.”

Riley, who was in stable condition at mid-morning today, pleaded guilty in February to four federal charges stemming from a tax-fraud scheme between 2008 and 2011, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court here.

According to the documents, Riley and her co-conspirators filed nearly 1,200 fictitious tax returns for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010, using the names and Social Security numbers of other individuals.

Riley managed a 1st Source Bank account that received more than $500,000 and a Bank of America account that received more than $30,000 in deposits, she admitted in a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. She also admitted she oversaw and controlled bank accounts opened by other people that received money from false tax returns, the court documents said.

In all, Riley and her co-conspirators — who are not identified in the documents — sought more than $3.5 million in bogus tax refunds, according to the documents, though it’s unclear how much of the money they received.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Schaffer, the government’s lead prosecutor in the case against Riley, could not immediately be reached for comment this afternoon.

As part of Riley’s plea agreement, she agreed to cooperate with law enforcement and prosecutors in any investigations into criminal activity, and to testify before any grand jury and at any hearings or trials, according to the documents.

Riley is scheduled to be sentenced in November.

No arrests had been made early this afternoon in Riley’s shooting, and police had not identified any suspects, Trent said. Riley could not provide a description of the shooter because it was dark at the time of the shooting, Trent said.

Staff writer Christian Sheckler: 574-235-6480