Justice News

Department of Justice
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 16, 2020

Owner of D.C. Area Tax Preparation Business Indicted for Tax Fraud

A federal grand jury in Washington, D.C. returned an indictment today charging an Indianapolis, Indiana, resident with conspiracy to file false claims, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, aiding and assisting the preparation of false tax returns, and tax evasion, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

According to the indictment, Awett Tedla was the owner and operator of Speedy Tax Services LLC, a tax preparation business in Washington, D.C. and District Heights, Maryland. From 2012 through 2016, Tedla and her coconspirators allegedly obtained and used third party identities to file fraudulent tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) claiming tax refunds. The indictment also charges that from 2013 through 2016, Tedla falsified her own personal returns by omitting business receipts.

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

If convicted, Tedla faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud, 10 years in prison for conspiring to file false claims for refunds, five years in prison for each count of tax evasion, and a mandatory sentence of two years in prison for aggravated identity theft. Tedla also faces a term of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman thanked agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Mark McDonald and Sean Green of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Tax
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
20-54
Updated January 16, 2020