TAX PREPARER SENTENCED FOR FRAUDULENT TAX REFUND SCHEME
October 17, 2011
ATLANTA, GA - DEIDRA MCCLENDON, 38, of Conley, Georgia, was sentenced to prison today by United States District Judge Marvin H. Shoob on charges of filing fraudulent tax returns, identity theft and unauthorized use of another person’s Social Security number.
United States Attorney Sally Yates said, “Identity theft is a growing problem given the widespread availability of personal information, and this defendant’s scheme provides a startling example of the ways that stolen personal information can be used to steal money. Here, the crime is especially egregious because the defendant is a former tax preparer, and she used her specialized knowledge to steal tax money paid by honest citizens.”
IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Rodney E. Clarke said of the case, “The citizens of Georgia and the U.S. can be reassured that IRS Criminal Investigation is absolutely committed to investigating and prosecuting those who steal someone's identity in an effort to undermine the integrity of our nation's tax system.”
MCCLENDON was sentenced to 1 year, 6 months in prison to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $784,000. MCCLENDON pleaded guilty to the charges on April 4, 2011.
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: From March 2007 to approximately February 2008, McCLENDON conducted a fraudulent tax filing scheme in which false 1099 employer earnings statements were submitted in support of tax returns for various individuals, some of whom were unaware that their personal information was being used to file and obtain tax refunds. McCLENDON also filed a tax return on behalf of her mother who died prior to the tax year for which a return was filed. Her scheme generated several hundred thousand of dollars of fraudulent refunds and was discovered after McClendon’s employer, “World Acceptance Corporation,” conducted an audit, noticed suspicious transactions and reported them to the IRS.
This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Plummer prosecuted the case.
For further information please contact Sally Q. Yates, United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.