News and Press Releases

PALM BEACH COUNTY WOMAN CONVICTED OF PREPARING AND FILING FRAUDULENT INCOME TAX RETURNS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 13, 2011

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), announce that a federal jury in West Palm Beach found defendant Marvel Ebanks, of West Palm Beach, Riviera Beach, and unincorporated Palm Beach County, guilty of twenty-five (25) counts of assisting and advising in the preparation and presentation of fraudulent income tax returns to the IRS, in violation of Title 26 U.S.C. § 7206(2). Ebanks was also found guilty of five (5) counts of willfully subscribing to false Form 1040 Individual Income Tax Returns and filing the tax returns with the IRS, in violation of Title 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1). Ebanks’ sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 2, 2012.

According to the charges and evidence presented at trial, Ebanks owned and operated Marvelous Enterprises Inc, a tax return preparation business in Palm Beach County, Florida. Ebanks operated her business from her various residences in Palm Beach County. Defendant Ebanks prepared and caused the submission of Individual Income Tax Returns claiming tax refunds on behalf of various taxpayers, knowing that these returns contained materially false information. Specifically, Ebanks claimed nonexistent expenses or inflated itemized deductions, thus making it appear that the taxpayers would be due a larger tax refund than was allowed from the IRS. The taxpayers were typically only sent the signature page of their returns and were unaware of the false information that Ebanks used to inflate their refunds.

Testimony and records at trial also showed that Ebanks under-reported her gross receipts from 2003 to 2007, and filed the tax returns with the IRS knowing that the returns contained materially false information. Specifically, defendant Ebanks failed to report income she received from the operation of her income tax preparation business.

At sentencing, Ebanks faces a maximum statutory term of imprisonment of three (3) years in prison on each count of preparing and presenting fraudulent income tax returns and each count of subscribing and filing false Individual Income Tax Returns.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the IRS-CID. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emalyn Webber and Adrianne Rabinowitz.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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