News and Press Releases

WOMAN CHARGED IN FEDERAL COURT WITH PREPARING AND FILING FALSE INCOME TAX RETURNS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31 , 2010

BIRMINGHAM - A federal grand jury today indicted a 45-year-old Birmingham woman for wire fraud and multiple counts of preparing false tax returns for clients, U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and IRS Special Agent In Charge, Criminal Investigations, Reginael D. McDaniel, announced.

KATHY YOUNGBLOOD is charged in a 36-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court. The government also seeks forfeiture of $132,305 and the defendant’s house as proceeds of the fraud scheme.
           
Counts one through 18 charge aiding or assisting in the making of false or fraudulent statements on 18 income tax returns. The indictment charges that YOUNGBLOOD prepared and filed numerous fraudulent tax returns in 2006 and 2007 by knowingly making false statements on the returns in order to obtain larger refund amounts for her clients. The false statements included false filing statuses, fictitious or inflated deductions, and fraudulent earned-income and fuel-tax credits.

YOUNGBLOOD also “sold” names and Social Security numbers to taxpayers to create dependants to use on their returns in order to claim a bigger refund. As a result of YOUNGBLOOD’s acts, the government lost $68,045 by issuing refunds to taxpayers based on their false tax returns.

Counts 19-36 charge wire fraud based on YOUNGBLOOD’s electronic submission, or “e-filing,” of each of the 18 false income tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service.

The maximum sentence for each tax count is not more than three years in prison and a $100,000 fine; the maximum sentence for each wire fraud count is 20 years and a $250,000 fine.
 
“Taxpayers and tax-return preparers who try to scam the government for tax return money are not only stealing from the government, they also are stealing from all the honest citizens who pay their fair share of taxes,” Vance said. “This kind of fraud will not be tolerated. Vigorous  prosecution and stern punishment are the government’s answer,” she said.

“As we approach the height of tax-filing season, both tax-return preparers and tax payers need to know that it is a felony violation to prepare and/or file a false tax return,” McDaniel said. “Taxpayers are responsible for any additional taxes, plus interest and penalties, on any false return filed on their behalf by a tax-return preparer,” he said.

IRS special agents investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney James Ingram is prosecuting.
                                                           
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only charges.  A defendant is presumed innocent, and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

 

 

 

 

 

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