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Press Release

Owner of D.C.-area Tax Preparation Business Pleads Guilty to Tax Refund Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

An Indiana woman pleaded guilty in federal court last Friday in the District of Columbia to conspiring to file false tax returns and related charges.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Awett Tedla of Indianapolis was the owner and operator of Speedy Tax Services, L.L.C., a tax preparation business in Washington, D.C., and District Heights, Maryland. From 2012 through 2016, Tedla and her coconspirators prepared and electronically filed with the IRS fraudulent returns on behalf of clients and illegally-obtained identities of unwitting taxpayers, claiming purported refunds were due.  The false returns reported fictitious businesses and claimed certain tax credits in order to generate inflated tax refunds. Clients paid an increased fee depending on the size of the fraudulent refund.

Tedla also underreported business gross receipts and taxable income on her 2016 personal income tax return, and in total, evaded approximately $171,534 in income tax between 2013 through 2016.

She faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for wire fraud, 10 years in prison for conspiring to file false claims, five years in prison for tax evasion and a mandatory sentence of two years in prison for aggravated identity theft. Tedla also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division made the announcement.

IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) are investigating the case.

Trial Attorneys Mark McDonald and George Meggali of the Justice Department’s Tax Division are prosecuting the case.

Updated April 3, 2023

Press Release Number: 23-363