North Carolina Tax Return Preparer Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to File False Tax Returns
A Winston-Salem, North Carolina resident pleaded guilty today to conspiring to defraud the United States by filing false tax returns, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Matthew G. T. Martin of the Middle District of North Carolina.
According to court documents, Claudia Lynette Shivers conspired with others to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by preparing false tax returns. Shivers co-owned and operated two tax return preparation businesses: Fast Tax of Winston-Salem, Inc. in Winston-Salem and Quick Taxes LLC in Greensboro. Shivers and her co-conspirators falsified items on clients’ tax returns, such as dependents and Schedule A deductions, in order to fraudulently maximize their refunds. Shivers also directed clients to hand-write false information on tax forms and other documents used in the preparation of their returns. Shivers further admitted that she held training sessions for her employees, during which she would instruct them on how to manipulate the information on tax returns in order to obtain refunds to which the clients were not entitled. Between January 2014 and April 2017, Shivers and her co-conspirators prepared approximately 519 false tax returns, which claimed approximately $1.3 million in bogus refunds.
Shivers’ sentencing is scheduled for December 20, 2018. Shivers faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison, as well as a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.
Shiver’s co-conspirators, Shannon DeWayne Patterson, Kristyn Dion Daney, and Rakeem Lenell Scales, have all pleaded guilty to charges of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns and are awaiting sentencing.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Martin commended special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Robert J. Boudreau and Lauren Castaldi of the Tax Division and Criminal Division Chief Clifton T. Barrett of the Middle District of North Carolina, who are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.