Alabama Return Preparers Charged with Conspiracy, Identity Theft, Filing False Tax Returns and Lying to Federal Agents
WASHINGTON – Yumeitrius Manuel and Margaret Kirksey, both of Montgomery, Ala., were indicted by a federal grand jury today on charges of conspiracy, identity theft, wire fraud, false claims and lying to federal agents, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced.
According to the indictment, Manuel and Kirksey each owned and ran separate tax return preparation businesses in Montgomery, which operated out of the same physical location. The indictment alleges that Manuel and Kirksey agreed to fraudulently inflate tax refunds by placing false information on their clients’ tax returns. The indictment further alleges that they 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.
An indictment merely alleges that a crime has been committed, and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted, Manuel and Kirksey each face a maximum of 10 years in prison for the conspiracy charge, a maximum of five years in prison for each false claims charge, a maximum of 20 years in prison for each wire fraud charge and a minimum of two years in prison for each aggravated identity theft count. Additionally, Manuel faces a maximum of five years in prison for lying to a federal agent. Kirksey faces a maximum fine of $2 million for all counts charged in the indictment and Manuel faces a maximum fine of $2.225 million for all counts charged in the indictment.
This case was investigated by the IRS-Criminal Investigation and is being prosecuted by Tax Division Trial Attorneys Justin Gelfand and Jason Poole.