Alabama Return Preparer Sentenced to Federal Prison for Tax Conspiracy Involving Stolen Identity Refund Fraud
Margaret Kirksey, a resident of Montgomery, Ala., was sentenced today in the Middle District of Alabama to 81 months in federal prison for filing false tax returns using stolen identities, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced.
On Jan. 24, 2012, Kirksey pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to defraud the government and aggravated identity theft. She was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 27, 2011, on charges of conspiracy, aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, false claims and lying to federal agents.
According to court documents, Kirksey and her co-conspirator, Yumeitrius Manuel, each owned and operated a tax preparation business in Montgomery, located in the same physical place. The two fraudulently inflated tax refunds by placing false information on their clients’ tax returns. They also filed tax returns in the names and Social Security numbers of individuals who did not know about, and did not authorize, the filing of tax returns on their behalf. Both Manuel and Kirksey admitted that their respective crimes involved over $1 million in tax loss and more than 50 victims of identity theft. Manuel has also pleaded guilty to a tax conspiracy and is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 8, 2012.
U.S. District Judge Mark E. Fuller also ordered Kirksey to pay $52,242 in restitution to the IRS.
This case was investigated by special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation and was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Justin Gelfand and Jason Poole of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.