News and Press Releases

local tax preparer indicted on fraud charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 18, 2014

St. Louis, MO – JENNIFER WALTER was indicted on multiple tax fraud charges including filing false tax returns, creating false W2 forms and the use of stolen personal information to file for a tax refund.

According to the indictment, in January 2010, Walter filed a false tax return for 2009 and between 2010 and 2011, Walter created fraudulent W-2 forms for people to use for preparation by another local tax return preparer.  The indictment states that for the tax years 2010 and 2011, Walter provided false W-2s, which aided in the filing of approximately 13 false tax returns, claiming approximately $84,727 in false refunds.

Beginning in 2013, while she was employed by Liberty For All Tax Service, in St. Louis, the indictment alleges that she prepared false returns for clients by including fraudulent items and tax credits, such as wage information which allowed her to falsely claim the earned income tax credit and child tax credits for her clients. For the tax year 2012, Walter filed or assisted in filing approximately 18 false tax returns claiming approximately $129,447 in false refunds.

"Dishonest return preparers use a variety of methods to cheat the government," said IRS Criminal Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge Tanya Brewer.  "Knowingly falsifying documents filed with the IRS is a crime."

Finally, the indictment states that in February 2013, Walter filed a false tax return using someone else’s personal information, and received the $6,134 tax refund due from that return.

Jennifer Walter, St. Louis, MO, was indicted by a federal grand jury on five felony counts of filing false tax returns, one felony count of theft of government funds and one felony count of aggravated identity theft. The indictment was returned on February 5, but remained sealed until the arrest of the defendant earlier today.

If convicted, each count of filing false tax returns carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000; theft of government funds carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000; aggravated identity theft carries a maximum of two years prison and/or fines up to $250,000.  In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

 This case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation, the Missouri Department of Revenue, Criminal Tax Investigation Bureau and University City Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Dianna Collins is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt.  Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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