Matthews Guilty Plea
BATON ROUGE WOMAN CONVICTED OF MAKING FALSE CLAIMS AND IDENTITY THEFT ARISING OUT OF FRAUDULENT CLAIMS OF FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS CREDIT
BATON ROUGE, LA - United States Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux, Jr., announced that BRENDA MATTHEWS, age 48, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, pled guilty Thursday, October 25, 2012, before U.S. District Judge James J. Brady to one count of making false claims to the United States government and two counts of identity theft. MATTHEWS faces up to fifteen (15) years in prison, three (3) years of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine of up to $250,000. The sentencing date has yet to be scheduled.
At the hearing, MATTHEWS admitted that from at least July 2009 through August 31, 2009, she prepared and filed at least 56 fraudulent tax returns for tax year 2008. The returns, which reported no income, fraudulently claimed refunds based on the First Time Homebuyers Credit. MATTHEWS admitted that she knew that the listed taxpayers had not purchased homes. The fraudulent tax returns generated refunds in excess of $300,000.
U.S. Attorney Cazayoux stated, “This is another example of our commitment to prosecuting individuals who use the personal identities of others to prepare and file fraudulent tax returns. We will not tolerate tax preparers defrauding the government and its citizens while fraudulently claiming undeserved tax credits.”
“The IRS will aggressively pursue individuals who use stolen social security numbers to file false tax returns,” said James C. Lee, Special Agent-in-Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. “This case should serve as a strong warning to those who are considering similar conduct. Law enforcement is serious about investigating those who would defraud the government.”
This investigation is being conducted by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Susan C. Amundson.
If you have knowledge of fraud, waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at: (866) 720-5721 or e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org