North Carolina Tax Return Preparer Sentenced to Prison for Conspiring to File False Tax Returns
A Winston-Salem, North Carolina, resident was sentenced to 21 months in prison today for 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 for the Middle District of North Carolina.
According to court documents, Claudia Lynette 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 information on tax returns in order to obtain refunds to which 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 false refunds from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Shivers’ co-conspirator, Shannon DeWayne Patterson, was previously sentenced to 13 months imprisonment. Shivers’ other co-conspirators, Kristyn Dion Daney and Rakeem Lenell Scales, were sentenced to nine months and one day, and probation, respectively.
In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Court Judge William Osteen, Jr. ordered Shivers to serve three years of supervised release and to pay restitution of $38,266 to the IRS.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Martin commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorney Lauren Castaldi of the Tax Division and Criminal Division Chief Clifton T. Barrett of the Middle District of North Carolina, who prosecuted the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.