News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

THURSDAY - February 25, 2010

FEDERAL EMPLOYEE CHARGED WITH PREPARING

FALSE INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX RETURNS FOR OTHERS

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced today a sixteen-count Indictment charging MICHAEL RAY WOODS, 47, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, with crimes related to WOODS’ preparation of individual income tax returns for others.

The Indictment was issued by the Grand Jury on January 28, 2010, and WOODS was arrested earlier today.

The Indictment alleges that WOODS was a full-time employee of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with access to names and social security numbers belonging to VA patients. At the same time, under the name M&R Computer Consulting and Tax, WOODS prepared and filed hundreds of tax returns for customers in exchange for fees. According to the Indictment, WOODS repeatedly falsified information on the returns in order to generate fraudulent refunds, including falsifying information about customers’ expenses in order to generate fake education credits, and using the names and social security numbers of several individuals without their knowledge to create fake dependants on customers’ tax returns. The Indictment alleges that at least three of these individuals had been patients at a VA hospital.

WOODS is charged with sixteen felonies: twelve counts of aiding and assisting in false and fraudulent tax returns, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(2); two counts of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343; and two counts of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A.

Mr. Holding commented, “Tax season is upon us and once again I would like to reiterate the importance of filing an honest and complete tax return. Through the assistance of the IRS we will find and prosecute those that try to receive refunds through returns submitted with fraudulent information.”

This Indictment is a reminder that every participant in the tax system must perform their role honestly and honorably if our system is to work properly. Here, an unscrupulous tax preparer failed to perform his obligations in the proper way. In order to ensure that the system works for all of us, the IRS remains committed to the aggressive investigation and prosecution of those who fail to uphold their obligations,” stated Jeannine A. Hammett, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the United States’ burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – OIG. The case is being handled by the Economic Crimes Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, with Section Chief Clay C. Wheeler prosecuting the case for the United States.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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