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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANGELA DODGE

Sept. 15, 2010

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER
(713) 567-9388

LOCAL TAX RETURN PREPARER SENTENCED FOR FALSIFYING TAX RETURNS

(HOUSTON) – A local tax return preparer has been sentenced to prison for preparing false income tax returns, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. Veronica Bellamy had previously entered a plea of guilty to charges she prepared false tax returns for local clients that inflated their refunds by $538,024 during 2002–2005.

At her re-arraignment hearing in January 2010, Bellamy stipulated that, in an effort to build a reputation for generating large federal income tax refunds for her clients, she knowingly prepared and filed a number of false federal income tax returns that generated excessive refunds for clients for tax years 2002 through 2005. These returns were based upon false and fraudulently inflated deductions and credits that were intended by Bellamy to cause, and did cause, aggregate losses to the United States Treasury of approximately $538,024. 

Bellamy stipulated that on March 21, 2006, she knowingly prepared and electronically filed with the Internal Revenue Service a false 2005 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return – Form 1040  in an effort to obtain an excessive federal income tax refund for a client. Bellamy further stipulated that this false tax return included materially false itemized deductions for real estate taxes of $6,030, for personal property taxes of $5,539, for home mortgage interest of $11,393 and for charitable gifts of $7,739, totaling approximately $30,701, in order to materially reduce the client’s taxable income and seek a fraudulent refund for that client in the approximate amount of $3,512.

This morning, U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller sentenced Bellamy to 30 months in federal prison without parole. Bellamy was also ordered make full pay restitution of $538,024 and serve a one-year-term of supervised release with a special condition she not be involved in any business preparing tax returns. The Internal Revenue Service collected $50,000 of Bellamy’s restitution obligation prior to sentencing. Bellamy was permitted to remain on bond for up to 45 days pending the issuance of an order to surrender herself to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future to begin serving her sentence.

The investigation leading to the charges against Bellamy was conducted by the Houston Office of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jimmy Sledge Jr.

    

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