East St. Louis Man Sentenced For Filing A False Federal Income Tax Return
Demetrius L. Combs, 22, of East St. Louis, Illinois, was sentenced to five years of probation, six months home detention and ordered to pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of $2662 for the offense of Filing a False Federal Income Tax Return, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.
Combs had a false and fraudulent 2010 federal income tax return prepared by Prime Time Tax Services. Delaun Leflore and Carey Herron owned and operated Prime Time Tax Services (PTTS) located in Shiloh, Illinois. During the 2008-2011 filing seasons, Leflore and Herron used electronic software to prepare and file tax returns and they typically applied for refund anticipation loans. Leflore and Herron conspired together and with their clients to prepare false tax returns and claim fraudulent tax refunds. To accomplish this scheme, Leflore and Herron created false and fraudulent Schedule C income and expenses. The purpose of creating the false income was to maximize the earned income credit and other credits which generated large tax refunds. While meeting with their clients, Leflore and Herron discussed how to receive more money back by creating self-employment income. The clients agreed to participate in the scheme in order to receive a larger tax refund. Typically, the clients were referred to Leflore and Herron and visited the tax preparation business knowing they would file fraudulent tax returns. As part of the scheme, the clients were required to pay an extra cash fee to Leflore or Herron from the tax refund received. This amount was generally $500 in cash. This amount was in addition to the tax preparation fee which was automatically deducted from the tax refund by the bank processing the refund anticipation loan (RAL). Following the receipt of the RAL check, Leflore, Herron, or another representative of PTTS escorted the clients to a local check-cashing business named Belleville Quick Stop located in Belleville, Illinois. After the client cashed the RAL check, the client immediately gave the $500 in cash to Leflore, Herron, or another representative of Prime Time. Leflore and Herron have already been prosecuted and are serving their prison sentences.
The successful prosecution is the result of an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service/Criminal Investigations. The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman R. Smith.