NEW HAVEN WOMAN SENTENCED TO TWO YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR HELPING OTHERS FILE FALSE TAX RETURNS
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that VALERIE BROWN, 40, of New Haven, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to 24 months of imprisonment, followed by one year of supervised release, for helping numerous individuals file false tax returns.
According to court documents and statements made in court, from January 2006 through April 2009, BROWN informed individuals that she could provide them with documents so that they would receive greater federal income 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, she 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. She 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. 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.
Judge Arterton ordered BROWN to full restitution.
On April 26, 2012, BROWN pleaded guilty to two counts of assisting in the preparation of a false tax return.
This matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher W. Schmeisser.
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