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Press Release

Federal Court Permanently Shuts Down Georgia Tax Return Preparers

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A federal court in Columbus, Georgia, permanently barred Stacy Lee and Heather Lee from preparing tax returns for others and from owning, operating, or franchising a tax return preparation business, the Justice Department announced today. The court also ordered Stacy Lee and Heather Lee to close their tax return preparation stores. Stacy Lee and Heather Lee consented to the relief.

According to the complaint, Stacy Lee operated two tax return preparation stores under the names Fast Track Tax Service in Talbotton, Georgia, and TimeLee Tax Service in Columbus, Georgia. Stacy Lee’s daughter, Heather Lee, allegedly prepared tax returns at the two stores as well. From 2013 to 2018, Stacy Lee prepared 3,728 tax returns and Heather Lee prepared 1,116 tax returns, the complaint alleges.

The government further claimed that Stacy and Heather Lee prepared false federal income tax returns, understated federal income tax liabilities, and improperly claimed tax credits in order to obtain inflated tax refunds for customers. In particular, according to the complaint, the defendants fabricated deductions for charitable contributions, unreimbursed employee business expenses, and medical expenses; reported profits and losses for fictitious businesses; and claimed false education credits, energy credits, and childcare credits. 

“The Tax Division will work with its IRS partners to shut down return preparers who claim improper or illegal deductions and credits for their clients,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman. “Taxpayers should be vigilant so they do not file tax returns claiming false deductions.”

Return preparer fraud is one of the IRS’ Dirty Dozen Tax Scams. The IRS has information on its website for choosing a tax preparer and has launched a free directory of federal tax preparers. In the past decade, the Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of unscrupulous tax preparers. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website. An alphabetical listing of persons enjoined from preparing returns and promoting tax schemes can be found on this page. If you believe that one of the enjoined persons or businesses may be violating an injunction, please contact the Tax Division with details.

Updated January 31, 2020

Topics
Financial Fraud
Tax
Component
Press Release Number: 20-95