Mar. 5, 2010
HUSBAND AND WIFE CONVICTED OF TAX FRAUD
(HOUSTON) – A jury has found Donald Ray Womack and Tonya Buckner Womack guilty of conspiracy and aiding and abetting in the preparation and presentation of false income tax returns, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno and Rodney E. Clarke, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. The indictment, returned on Dec. 17, 2009, alleges that Donald Ray Womack and Tonya Buckner Womack are husband and wife.
After a five-day trial and five hours of deliberations today, a federal jury returned guilty verdicts on all 26 counts, convicting the Womacks of conspiracy and preparing false income tax returns. The Womacks claimed false Schedule A deductions and deductions concerning tuition and fees and education expenses on tax returns for the years 2003, 2004 and 2005, as well as amended tax returns. Donald Womack was charged in counts one and 2-14, while Tonya Womack was charged in counts one and 15-26. They were each convicted of all counts. The loss to the United States in tax revenues was $363,074, according to the indictment.
“The jury has spoken today with regard to this case,” said Clarke. “While most return preparers provide excellent service to their clients, a few unscrupulous tax preparers file false and fraudulent returns in an attempt to defraud the government, the taxpaying public and their own clients. The defendants in this case attempted to undermine the integrity of America's tax system and have been held accountable.”
“Taxpayers should always be careful in selecting the tax professional that they will use to prepare their income tax returns,” Clarke added.
U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal, who presided over the Womacks’ trial, has scheduled sentencing for June 29, 2010, at 9:00 a.m. The conspiracy count conviction carries a maximum statutory penalty of up to five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, while each of the false income tax return counts of conviction carries a statutory penalty of up to three years imprisonment and a $100,000 fine.
Special Agents of the Houston Office of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation Division conducted the investigation leading to the charges and Assistant United States Attorneys Stephen L. Corso and Charles J. Escher prosecuted the case.
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