NEW HAVEN WOMAN ADMITS SHE WAS
TO HELP OTHERS FILE FALSE TAX RETURNS
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that VALERIE BROWN, 40, of New Haven, waived her right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to two counts of assisting in the preparation of a false tax return.
According to court documents and statements made in court, from January 2006 through April 2009, BROWN helped numerous individuals file false federal tax returns. As part of the scheme, BROWN informed individuals that she could provide them with documents so that they would receive greater tax refunds. BROWN would collect the tax filers’ names, social security numbers, dates of birth, and sometimes their dependants’ information, and then prepare false Forms W-2 for the filers supplementing the information that was provided to her. In most instances, BROWN either created a false W-2 that materially overstated wages and withholdings, and/or used false dependant information in order to maximize the Earned Income Credit.
BROWN frequently instructed the filers to go to a tax preparation agency and have those agencies prepare and file tax returns using the false information she supplied. BROWN often drove the individuals to the tax preparation agencies but, in most instances, did not enter the building with them. Once tax returns were prepared and filed, the tax filers would receive refunds in the form of checks or store value cards. BROWN often took the filers to a check cashing agency to cash the tax refund checks. BROWN typically charged the tax filer approximately $500 to $1,500, with the fee based in part on the refund received from the Internal Revenue Service.
Through this scheme, BROWN’s clients submitted a total of $116,589 in fraudulent refund claims. As part of her guilty plea, BROWN has agreed to pay restitution in that amount.
Judge Arterton has scheduled sentencing for July 25, 2012, at which time BROWN faces a maximum term of imprisonment of six years and a fine of up to $500,000.
This matter is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher W. Schmeisser.
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