North Carolina Tax Return Preparer Sentenced to Prison for Preparing Fraudulent Tax Returns
A Winston-Salem, North Carolina resident, who is also licensed as an attorney in Georgia, was sentenced today to 13 months in prison for aiding and assisting in the preparation of fraudulent tax return, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney Richard 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 documents and information provided to the court, between January and May 2015, Shannon DeWayne Patterson co-owned and operated tax preparation businesses named “Fast Tax” in the cities of Winston-Salem, Salisbury and Kannapolis, North Carolina. Patterson instructed his employees to fabricate information on the tax returns they prepared, in an effort to increase the refunds paid to their clients. Because of his actions, more than $60,000 in fraudulent tax refunds were sought from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Patterson also filed false personal tax returns for 2014 and 2015, on which he underreported his income.
In addition to the term of imprisonment, Patterson was sentenced to one year of supervised release, and was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $60,800 to the IRS.
Two of Patterson’s Winston-Salem employees, Kristyn Dion Daney and Rakeem Scales, pleaded guilty in April to preparing a false tax return for an IRS undercover agent and are awaiting sentencing. Patterson’s co-owner in Fast Tax, Claudia Shivers, has also pleaded guilty to conspiring with Patterson and is awaiting sentencing.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Martin thanked special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and former Tax Division Trial Attorney Robert J. Boudreau and Criminal Division Chief Clifton T. Barrett of the Middle District of North Carolina, who prosecuted the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division’s enforcement efforts can be found on the division’s website.