East St. Louis and Shiloh Tax Service Operator Sentenced in a $1.6 million Fraudelent Refund Scheme
Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced
that Delaun Leflore, 38, of Belleville, Illinois, was sentenced today in federal court on the charge of
Conspiracy to Defraud the IRS by Submitting False Tax Returns to Make False Claims for Tax
Refunds. Leflore received a sentence of 90 months in prison followed by three years of supervised
release. He was additionally ordered to cooperate with the Internal Revenue Service in the
assessment and collection of income taxes. He is prohibited from being in the tax preparation
service business in the future. On May 4, 2012, his coconspirator, Carey Herron received a sentence
of 46 months incarceration.
“I hope this lengthy, but appropriate, sentence sends a message to those who would cheat the
American people out of monies due the United States,” said United States Attorney Wigginton.
From at least 2009, through April, 2011, Leflore, with another individual, d/b/a Prime Time
Tax Services, participated in a tax preparation scheme to obtain and to help others obtain payment
of refunds for false claims to the IRS. As part of the conspiracy, they created false Schedule C
information to falsely inflate the amount of federal fax refund that taxpayers were entitled to receive.
When certain individuals would receive their refund, they would be escorted to a check cashing
business by a representative of Prime Time Tax Services to cash the refund check and pay the
representative an extra fee of generally $500 cash. Leflore was not authorized to e-file tax returns
and used another tax preparer’s electronic identification number to file the false returns. The total
refunds paid out by the Internal Revenue Service for all of the tax returns prepared by Prime Time
Tax Services was approximately $2.5 million. Of those total refunds, the Internal Revenue Service
paid out approximately $1.6 million in federal tax refunds for Prime Time Tax Service prepared
returns that declared Schedule C self-employment income. Information was presented that over 460
false federal tax returns were filed.
The investigation was handled by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations.
The prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Norman Smith.