The Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that Tracey Fergerson pleaded guilty today before Magistrate Judge Charles S. Coody in Montgomery, Ala., to conspiring to defraud the United States government. Fergerson and a co-defendant were charged by a grand jury in a 22-count indictment that was unsealed on March 30, 2011.
According to the plea agreement, Fergerson participated in a tax fraud scheme that was perpetrated through a tax return preparation business called Fast Tax Cash in Montgomery. From 2005 through 2008, Fergerson recruited customers for Fast Tax Cash and coached them to provide false information in order to fraudulently increase their tax refund amounts. Fergerson also admitted that she improperly obtained personal information, including names and Social Security numbers, and used that personal information to have false tax returns prepared at Fast Tax Cash. Fergerson admitted that she would receive payment for the false refunds that were obtained.
A sentencing date has not yet been set. Fergerson faces a maximum potential sentence of 10 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.
The case was investigated by the IRS-Criminal Investigation and is being prosecuted by trial attorneys Michael Boteler, Charles M. Edgar Jr. and Michelle M. Petersen of the Justice Department's Tax Division.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found at www.usdoj.gov/tax .