MEMPHIS MAN SENTENCED TO FIVE YEARS AND FOUR MONTHS IN JAIL FOR DEFRAUDING THE UNITED STATES TREASURY OUT OF $3,455,249 THROUGH THE FILING OF FRAUDULENT
INCOME TAX RETURNS
Memphis, TN - Chief District Court Judge John McCalla sentenced James Conard Burks, 37, of Memphis, Tennessee, to five years and four months incarceration for his involvement in a conspiracy to defraud the United States through the filing of fraudulent tax returns, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, and money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956, announced Edward L. Stanton, III, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.
The charges which formed the bases for Burks’ sentence of incarceration involved his running a tax shop in Memphis named "Money In Your Hand Tax Service." Through his business, Burks ran a scheme in which he and other preparers under his direction falsely included first time home buyer credits as well as other tax credits and falsehoods on his clients' tax returns. Burks received a cut of the fraudulent refund by having the IRS electronically deposit a portion of his clients' tax refunds directly into accounts that were either in his name or under his control. As a result of the fraudulent returns prepared by Burks, the IRS paid tax refunds in excess of $3,455,249 that were not owed. The IRS deposited directly into Burks' bank accounts more than $800,000 in illegal tax refunds. In an effort to expand his client base, Burks paid people to recruit clients. Burks paid his recruiters approximately $500 for each client who filed a tax return through "Money In Your Hand Tax Service." For the tax year 2008, Burks submitted and caused to be submitted more than 490 fraudulent tax returns.
In addition to the period of incarceration, Judge McCalla ordered that Burks pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $ 3,455,249. The Judge also entered an Order of Forfeiture against Burks in the same amount and specifically forfeited Burks’ interest in a Lexus automobile and a house on Morning Woods Drive, Cordova, Tennessee. Burks is also required to have a three-year period of supervision upon his release from prison.
The investigation was conducted by IRS-Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Lawrence J. Laurenzi prosecuted the case for the United States.