States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|February 18, 2010||
EMPLOYEE OF TAX PREPARATION SERVICE IS SENTENCED
Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that GABRIELLE PIERCE, 28, of Enfield, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford to five years of probation for her role in fraudulent tax return preparation scheme. On February 4, 2009, PIERCE pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of making a false claim against the United States, and one count of identity theft.
According to court documents and statements made in court, from 2003 until 2005, PIERCE was an employee of Check Stop of Connecticut, LLC, and supervised a tax preparation business from an office located at 190 Farmington Avenue in Hartford. Between January and April 2004, PIERCE and Sophia Russell prepared and electronically filed numerous fraudulent federal individual income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service. Included in some of the returns were improper deductions for dependents, and fraudulent child care credits, child tax credits, earned income credits and educational credits. PIERCE also used stolen identities in the preparation of bogus tax returns.
The total amount of the false and fraudulent tax returns submitted by PIERCE in 2004 and 2005, for the tax years 2003 and 2004, was $156,895. Today, Judge Chatigny ordered PIERCE to pay restitution in the amount of $79,514 to the U.S. Treasury, and $28,505.45 to HSBC Bank, which granted anticipation loans based on claimed refunds on fraudulent returns.
On February 16, 2010, Russell also was sentenced to five years of probation for her role in the scheme.
This matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James G. Genco.
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