The Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that Angela Myers, a resident of Baton Rouge, La., was sentenced today in the Middle District of Louisiana to 132 months in federal prison for wire fraud, making false claims, subscribing to false tax returns and aggravated identity theft.
Based on the evidence presented during a four-day trial in March 2013, Myers operated “Angie’s Tax Service,” a tax preparation business located in Baton Rouge Myers electronically filed false claims for tax refunds using the names and Social Security numbers of identity theft victims. Myers filed the identity theft tax returns using a unique preparer identification number assigned to her daughter. Many of the victims were nursing home patients who resided at Port Allen Care Center in Port Allen, La., and who did not have the ability to leave the nursing home.
The evidence also revealed that Myers lied on her own 2007 and 2008 federal income tax returns, failing to report hundreds of thousands of dollars of tax preparation fees that she earned at Angie’s Tax Service and used to buy various items, including an RV and a $50,000 investment product.
“This thief victimized vulnerable nursing home patients and stole from all honest taxpayers,” said Kathryn Keneally, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division. “The severe prison sentence handed down today demonstrates that such crimes will not be tolerated.”
“We are very pleased with the sentencing of Angela Myers, many of whose victims were residents of a nursing home,” said Richard Weber, Chief of IRS-Criminal Investigation. “The IRS aggressively pursues those that use stolen social security numbers to file false tax returns. This sentence should serve as a reminder that there is a price to pay for scamming innocent people and defrauding the government. Many taxpayers put their trust in return preparers and when that trust is violated, the taxpayers and the tax system suffer.”
In addition to the prison sentence, the court ordered Myers to pay $202,685 in restitution to the IRS in addition to $39,030 that was already forfeited in this case.
Assistant Attorney General Keneally commended the efforts of special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case, and Tax Division Trial Attorneys Justin Gelfand and Jason Poole, who prosecuted the case.