WASHINGTON – Detrick and Natashia Tucker, a husband and wife who owned and operated a tax preparation business named T&T Express Tax located in Pine Mountain, Ga., were sentenced to serve 12 months and one day and 46 months in prison, respectively, for crimes relating to the preparation of false tax returns, announced Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally of the Justice Department's Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Michael J. Moore for the Middle District of Georgia. Detrick Tucker previously pleaded guilty to aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns and Natashia Tucker pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States by filing false tax returns. Natashia Tucker was ordered to pay $1,483,025 in restitution and Detrick Tucker was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $66,235.
According to court documents, the Tuckers conspired to fraudulently inflate refunds on their clients' tax returns in order to increase the popularity of T&T Express Tax and secure more business. Detrick Tucker contributed to the conspiracy by registering T&T Express Tax with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) so that the false returns could be electronically filed and by performing managerial duties. He also knowingly allowed Natashia Tucker to use his IRS registration numbers to file her own false tax returns. As the main tax return preparer at T&T Express Tax, Natashia Tucker prepared the majority of the false returns at the business. She primarily obtained the artificially high refunds by abusing the Earned Income Tax Credit and by creating false business information for her clients. During its three years of operation, T&T Express Tax filed at least 268 fraudulent federal tax returns that claimed over $1,000,000 in false refunds.
The case was investigated by special agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Georgia Department of Revenue. Trial Attorneys Alexander Effendi and Charles Edgar Jr. of the Tax Division prosecuted the case.