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Friday, October 29, 2010

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee


CHATTANOOGA TAX PREPARER SENTENCED TO 24 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR PREPARING FALSE RETURNS

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.--Reginald Hadley, of Chattanooga, Tenn., was sentenced on October 28, 2010, by Chief U.S. District Judge Curtis L. Collier to serve 24 months in prison, followed by one year of supervised release. Judge Collier also ordered Hadley to pay $308,952.00 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

On May 13, 2010, Hadley pleaded guilty to one count of preparing and filing a false income tax return for another. According to a factual basis filed for the plea hearing, Hadley was employed as a tax return preparer for Rapid Refunds in Chattanooga, Tenn., from 2004 into 2008, and prepared a number of tax returns knowing that they contained materially false statements.

Hadley admitted to preparing a false 2007 tax return for a married couple that claimed a $9,719.00 refund they were not entitled to receive. He also admitted to preparing a fraudulent tax return that contained two Schedule C businesses with false business expenses, while he knew that no businesses existed. These false items on their return caused the taxpayers to receive a refund instead of owing tax.

United States Attorney Bill Killian stated, “our office will make every effort to prosecute those who are in the business of cheating the American tax payer. Tax payer fraud costs those who work hard and pay their fair share.”

"Return preparer fraud is like a contagious disease, it affects not only the preparer, but the individuals who have filed false information with Internal Revenue Service. It is our hope that today's sentence will send a strong message that tampering with the integrity of our nation's tax system can result in jail time," said Christopher R. Pikelis, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation-Nashville Field Office. "The tax return preparer industry is at the dawn of a new era of accountability. With new rules regulating the industry, tax preparers who prepare fraudulent tax returns will stand out even more," said Pikelis.

This investigation was conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gary S. Humble and Perry Piper represented the United States.

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