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Tax Preparer Sentenced On Federal Income Tax Charges High Point Resident Will Serve 56 Month Prison Term

September 24, 2008

Greensboro, N.C. – MARCELLUS THOMAS, 44, of High Point, North Carolina, was sentenced to 56 months imprisonment on federal income tax charges in Greensboro on September 23, 2008, announced Anna Mills Wagoner, United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina.

THOMAS, a commercial income tax preparer operating a company called Refund Recovery Group in High Point, was charged in an indictment returned in the Middle District of North Carolina on January 28, 2008, with causing fraudulent federal income tax returns to be prepared for clients and filing them with the Internal Revenue Service for the tax years 2002-2004. Despite the fact that most of his clients lived in publicly-assisted housing and were unemployed during those years, THOMAS claimed income from fictitious businesses such as hair salons and day-care centers on their tax returns without their knowledge in order to obtain income tax refunds under the Earned Income Tax Credit to which they were not entitled. THOMAS did not identify himself on the tax returns as the preparer. After having the Internal Revenue Service wire the refunds, which ranged from $1,377 to $2,726, to his own bank account, THOMAS kept a significant portion of the refunds for himself and gave the remainder to his clients.

THOMAS was convicted by a jury on June 6, 2008, of eleven counts of filing false income tax returns. On September 23, 2008, THOMAS was sentenced to 56 months imprisonment, followed by one year of supervised release. No fine was imposed.

The investigation of THOMAS was conducted by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service.

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