TAX PREPARERS DOING BUSINESS AS “INTEGRITY TAX”
CHARGED WITH PRESENTING FALSE CLAIMS FOR TAX REFUNDS
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Chad Anthony Chertos, 37, of Ada, Michigan, and Gregory Edward VanDyke, 39, of White Cloud, Michigan, were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiring to defraud the United States and presenting false claims for tax refunds against the United States Department of the Treasury, U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles announced today.
According to the indictment, Chertos and VanDyke prepared tax returns with inflated income amounts that requested an Earned Income Tax Credit and/or Making Work Pay Tax Credit to which their clients were not entitled. The indictment charges that Chertos and VanDyke claimed fraudulent refunds between April 2009 and August 2010 while operating as “Integrity Tax.” It is alleged that Chertos and VanDyke falsely assured their clients that they were entitled to substantial refunds and fraudulently reported their clients’ earned income to qualify for the tax credits. The indictment further alleges that the defendants diverted the United States Treasury refund checks to mailing addresses they controlled – rather than directing the refund checks to their clients – to ensure the defendants received payment from the refund check.
The maximum penalty for conspiring to defraud the United States is ten years in prison and the maximum penalty for each count of presenting a false claim to the Department of the Treasury is five years in prison. The charges also allow for the imposition of fines up to $250,000 and restitution to the United States. If the defendants are convicted, the actual sentence will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation in Grand Rapids. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher O’Connor is prosecuting the case.
The charges in the indictment are only allegations and are not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty, and the government has the burden of proving their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt..