Baton Rouge Tax Preparer Convicted For Her Role In Fraudulent Tax Return Scheme
BATON ROUGE, LA – United States Attorney Walt Green announced Friday that MALETICA V. FERGUSON, age 37, of Geismar, Louisiana, pled guilty on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, before Chief U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson to a Bill of Information for aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns. As a result of her conviction, FERGUSON faces a maximum term of imprisonment of three (3) years, a fine of up to $527,538, and the costs of prosecution.
This case was the result of an initiative by the United States Attorney’s Office, the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations Division, and the United States Department of Justice’s Tax Division, to combat tax fraud schemes.
According to the factual basis presented in connection with her guilty plea, FERGUSON operated The Best Tax Service (BTS), an income tax preparation business in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. FERGUSON prepared and submitted twenty-six (26) false tax returns to the IRS for the 2010 and 2011 tax years. In the returns, by misrepresenting the taxpayers’ income and falsely claiming various credits and deductions, among other means, the defendant fraudulently claimed that the taxpayers were entitled to significant refunds from the IRS. As a result of her scheme, FERGUSON caused a loss $263,769 to the taxpayers of the United States.
U.S. Attorney Green stated: “Filing false tax returns is a serious crime that hurts innocent taxpayers. This office will continue to aggressively pursue criminals who intend to defraud the United States. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the IRS are serious about investigating these crimes and prosecuting those who engage in this type of conduct.”
IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent-in-Charge Gabriel Grchan stated: “Falsely claiming refundable tax credits that are established to help legitimate taxpayers is a crime and is punishable under the law. IRS Criminal Investigation will not stand by while individuals like FERGUSON use tax preparation businesses as a tool to defraud the government and victimize taxpayers.”
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Cam T. Le.