News and Press Releases

Former Central Municipal Judge Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud

September 26, 2012

Contact Person: Bill Watkins (864) 282-2100

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Janet H. Reese , age 48, of Central, South Carolina, pled guilty today in federal court in Anderson, to filing false tax claims, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 287.    United States District Judge Timothy M. Cain of Anderson accepted the plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that Reese, who is a former municipal judge, operated her own tax preparation business.  For tax year 2008, Reese prepared and filed multiple returns for individuals and claimed the First Time Homebuyer Credit on the returns.  The taxpayers had never informed Reese that they had purchased a home and, in fact, had not purchased a home.  Reese had the refunds from the First Time Homebuyer Credits electronically deposited into an account she controlled. This prevented the taxpayers from discovering that Reese had included false information on their returns.  Law enforcement estimates that Reese’s fraudulent activity caused the United States Treasury to issue over $360,000 in improper refunds. 

Mr. Nettles stated the maximum penalty Reese can receive is a fine of $250,000 and/or imprisonment for 5 years, plus a special assessment of $100.

The case was investigated by agents of the Internal Revenue Service.  Assistant United
States Attorney Bill Watkins of the Greenville office handled the case.




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