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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Arizona

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 17, 2014

Arizona Tax Preparer Sentenced To 70 Months Imprisonment For Preparing Fraudulent Tax Returns

PHOENIX – On Nov. 13, 2014, Latoya Nivea Morehead, 33, of Glendale, Ariz., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James A. Teilborg to a 70-month term of imprisonment. Previously, on April 30, 2014, Morehead had been found guilty by a federal jury of 34 criminal counts, including 5 counts of wire fraud, 26 counts of making false statements to the IRS, and 3 counts of aggravated identity theft. Morehead was also ordered to pay $409,000 in restitution to the federal government.

Evidence at trial showed that Morehead, from 2006 through 2009, prepared and submitted over a hundred tax returns that contained false and fraudulent information.   Most of the returns reported untruthful W-2 information, including false earnings and withholdings, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent refunds. In many instances, she fabricated the optimal amount of false earnings and withholdings, which maximized the earned income credit.  In some instances, she prepared returns using the identities of taxpayers without their knowledge or consent.   Moreheadcommitted these crimes while working as a tax return preparer for another tax-preparation business in the Phoenix area and while doing business as “Latoya’s Tax Service.”    

Finally, evidence also showed that Morehead failed to report business income on her own tax returns and lied about expenses associated with her businesses. This created a fictitious “business loss,” which was used to offset her reported tax earnings and thus reduce the amount of taxes she owed.  

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. The prosecution was handled by Peter Sexton and Walter Perkel, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

CASE NUMBER:           CR- 12-01577-PHX-JAT  
RELEASE NUMBER:   2014-063_Morehead

For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/az/
Follow the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, on Twitter @USAO_AZ for the latest news.

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Updated January 7, 2015