FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
WEDNESDAY - January 7, 2009
INDEPENDENT TAX SERVICE EMPLOYEES SENTENCED FOR TAX FRAUD
WILMINGTON - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court today Senior United States District Judge James C. Fox sentenced four defendants in a tax fraud scheme. PAMELA D. EVANS, 33,received 15 months’ imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release. Restitution in the amount of $40,041 was imposed. BERTHA BATTLE, 28, also received 15 months’ imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release. Restitution in the amount of $19,019 was imposed. TASHA BATTLE, 28, received 180 days’ home confinement with electronic monitoring followed by three years of supervised release. Restitution in the amount of $1,883 was imposed. GWENDOLYN P. EVANS, 49, received one month imprisonment with up to 150 days’ home confinement with electronic monitoring followed by three years of supervised release. Restitution in the amount of $7,549 was imposed. All four defendants are from Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on March 19, 2008. On September 15, 2008, all defendants entered their guilty pleas for conspiring to defraud the government and filing false claims. From January, 2004, to April 15, 2004, the defendants, while employees of Independent Tax Service located in Rocky Mount, North Carolina conspired to make, and did make, false claims for refunds from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) by filing or causing others to file false 2003 federal income tax returns. The defendants inflated wages and/or withholdings and listed false dependants and/or false dependant information to qualify clients for the earned income credit in IRS Forms 1040 and 1040A individual tax returns. It is further alleged the defendants sold fraudulent dependent information to some clients so they would qualify for a larger refund and claimed education credits their clients were not entitled to claim.
Mr. Holding commented: “Another tax year is rapidly coming upon us. Please do not make the same mistake these defendants made. Knowingly falsifying documents filed with the Internal Revenue Service is a criminal act, and once found, will be prosecuted. Do not allow yourself to be sucked into such schemes.”
Jeannine A. Hammett, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS-CI Charlotte Field Office states, “Everyone who files a tax return should take full advantage of alllegaldeductions provided by law; however, no one is entitled to an undeserved windfall. Dishonest return preparers use a variety of methods to formulate fraudulent and illegal deductions to reduce taxable income. Whetheryouchoose to have your tax returns prepared by a return preparer, it is important to understand that you are ultimately responsible for all of the information on the tax return.”
Below is a website that offers helpful hints when choosing a Return Preparer: http://www.irs.gov
Investigation of the case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division. Assistant United States Attorney Yvonne Watford-McKinney is serving as prosecutor for the government.