Montgomery Man Sentenced in Income Tax Fraud Case
Montgomery, Alabama - Louis V. Franklin, Sr., United States Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, announced today the sentencing of a Montgomery man on tax fraud charges.
On June 29, 2011, Chief United States District Judge W. Keith Watkins sentenced Montgomery resident Michael T. Chappell, age 53, to 54 months imprisonment following his April 20, 2011, guilty plea for filing false and fraudulent federal income tax returns, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(2). Judge Watkins also ordered that Chappell pay over $7,000 in restitution to the United States.
Evidence presented at the guilty plea and sentencing hearings established that Chappell operated a tax preparation business known as Rocket Refund with locations on Lower Wetumpka Road and Airbase Boulevard, in Montgomery, Alabama. Chappell and his employees prepared thousands of fraudulent federal income tax returns in an effort to maximize refunds for individuals by manipulating figures that resulted in maximum Earned Income Credit amounts. During the period between 2005 and 2008, Chappell and his employees would obtain refunds for individuals, some of whom had no employment during the years in question, ranging from around $2,600-$4,800 per return. Judge Watkins determined the intended loss to the United States to be over 7 million dollars.
The case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service–Criminal Investigation and the Alabama Department of Revenue. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd A. Brown.
In response to this sentence being handed down, IRS Special Agent In Charge Reginael D. McDaniel stated, "I'm pleased with the outcome of today's sentencing. I would like to thank the U.S. Attorney's office for their tenacity in pursuing justice in this case. IRS Criminal Investigation is committed to stopping tax fraud in the Montgomery area.”
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