Some of our favorite recent tax fraud cases.
Bastrop, La.: Preparer Claudia Marie Mays, 41, has been sentenced to 39 months in prison for filing fraudulent income tax returns using stolen IDs and false information.
She was sentenced for one count of aiding and assisting in making and subscribing a false return, two counts of wire fraud and two counts of ID theft. She was also ordered to pay $94,043.15 restitution and received three years of supervised release.
According to evidence at the guilty plea, Mays prepared fraudulent returns and filed 15 fraudulent returns using stolen IDs and false information from January to April of 2011. The IRS issued $94,043.15 in fraudulent refunds because of the scheme.
Co-conspirator Carla Inzina, 53, also of Bastrop, assisted Mays in filing one of the fraudulent returns by obtaining another person’s personal information to file a false return without the person’s permission. Inzina was sentenced to three years of probation for one count of aiding and assisting in making and subscribing a false return.
Joliet, Ill.: Preparer Jeffrey Shelby Jr., 31, has pleaded guilty to filing hundreds of false federal income tax returns for clients, costing the government $5,350,243.
Shelby pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false federal returns and faces a maximum of three years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on each count.
Between at least 2009 and 2012, Shelby owned Shelby Investment LLC, which had two local locations. He admitted that for tax years 2009 through 2012, he filed hundreds of individual returns for clients, each of which fraudulently and intentionally reduced their taxes and inflated refunds.
His methods included, among others, overstating and misrepresenting taxpayers’ eligibility to claim credits, including education credits and the EITC; misrepresenting clients’ business income and expenses; and overstating and misrepresenting clients’ gifts to charity.
Sentencing has not been set. Shelby is also subject to an order to pay full restitution.
Anchorage, Alaska: Preparer Pepe Anetipa, 58, has been indicted on 28 counts of making false, fraudulent and fictitious claims against the federal government after she allegedly used clients’ tax statuses to defraud the U.S. of more than $200,000, according to published reports.
The charges stem from the 2011 tax year during which Anetipa moved to Anchorage from American Samoa, according to authorities cited in reports. She obtained a state business license for Triple H Tax and Services. Federal law allows people who earned all of their annual income in American Samoa to not file returns; Anetipa allegedly submitted taxpayers’ information on the wrong forms, receiving at least $202,859 in refunds for claiming they lived in Alaska or Texas, news outlets said.
The resultant claims reportedly caused the federal government to repay withholdings which were never made by the taxpayers in question. Anetipa used wage information and tax withholding reported to residents of American Samoa on the W2AS American Samoa Wage and Tax Statement and transferred the information to a regular W2s, according to cited officials, giving the returns the appearance that the income was earned in the U.S. Anetipa reportedly kept much of the refund money but kicked some back to the original taxpayers.
If convicted, she faces a maximum of five years for each count of the indictment, reports added.
Greensboro, N.C.: Former tax preparer Keith Dillard has been convicted of wire fraud, tax fraud and aggravated ID theft and sentenced to 25 months in jail and three years of supervised release, according to published reports.
Dillard, who was also ordered to pay $29,228 in restitution and a special assessment of $300, is the last of 12 defendants in a scheme involving Nothing But Taxes, which had 10 franchises throughout the state from 2005 to 2012, reports added.
Authorities told news outlets that NBT employees frequently offered clients dramatically larger tax refunds for cash payments to preparers over and above the flat return preparation fee that NBT charged every client, whether a return was falsified or not.
Reports added that the scheme (Accounting Today) also involved using personal information of child abuse victims for NBT’s use in fraud. The most common falsifications dependents, Schedule C businesses, tip income, EITCs and education credits, reports added.
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