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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tax Preparer Sentenced For Defrauding The IRS

MINNEAPOLIS— Today in federal court, United States District Court Judge Ann D. Montgomery sentenced Ieisha Smith to 24 months in federal prison for devising and executing a scheme to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) by filing fraudulent tax returns for clients. Smith, who was indicted on December 3, 2012, pleaded guilty on May 29, 2014 to one count of False Claims.

In her plea agreement, Smith admitted that she began the scheme in February 2009, when individuals came to her home for assistance in filing their income taxes. Specifically, she filed false tax returns on their behalf and in those returns falsely claimed that taxes had been withheld and refunds were due, all of which she knew to be false. In the scheme, Smith attempted to steal $765,137 from the IRS. The IRS incurred an actual loss of $362,246.

This case was the result of an investigation by the IRS-Criminal Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Calhoun-Lopez.

According to the IRS, approximately 60 percent of taxpayers use tax professionals to prepare and file their tax returns, with these paid preparers now collectively responsible for more than 80 million individual tax returns annually. “Tax return preparer fraud” is one of the IRS’s “Dirty Dozen Tax Scams.” For more information about the fight against tax fraud or how to choose a reliable tax return preparer, visit http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tips-for-Choosing-a-Tax-Return- Preparer.

Per U.S. Department of Justice policy, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is not allowed to provide the age and city of residence for defendants charged in criminal tax cases.

 

 

Updated April 30, 2015