Two Georgia Sisters-in-Law and Former Tax Return Preparers Sentenced to Prison for Conspiring to Defraud the United States
Two Georgia sisters-in-law were sentenced today in the U.S. District Court in Macon, Georgia, for their involvement in a conspiracy to defraud the United States, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Michael J. Moore of the Middle District of Georgia.
Angela Miller, 48, of Milledgeville, Georgia, and Lee Lynwood, 47, of Eatonton, Georgia, were each sentenced to serve 12 months and one day in prison to be followed by one year of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $44,214.62. On Feb. 10, Miller and Lynwood pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States.
According to court documents, from at least January 2008 through at least March 2010, Miller and Lynwood operated a tax return preparation business and conspired to inflate their clients’ federal tax refunds by manipulating the tax returns to reflect false business income or loss amounts and to claim deductions and credits, such as the First-Time Homebuyer Credit, that the clients were not entitled to receive.
Miller and Lynwood also took steps to continue their scheme by impeding the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) efforts to shut down their ability to electronically file tax returns. In May 2008, the IRS notified Miller and Lynwood that their Electronic Filing Number (EFIN) for filing electronic returns at their tax preparation business, A&L Tax Services, was being revoked. Miller and Lynwood then had an acquaintance apply for another EFIN in her name, which Miller and Lynwood used to continue to file fraudulent tax returns and conceal their preparation from the IRS. Further, Miller and Lynwood changed the name of their business to B&F Tax Services and caused a bank account for the B&F Tax Services to be opened in the acquaintance’s name as a nominee.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo commended special agents of IRS–Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case, and thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of Georgia for their assistance, as well as Trial Attorneys Alexander R. Effendi and Hayden M. Brockett of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.