Mo Money Tax Return Preparers Sentenced for Tax Fraud
RICHMOND, Va. – Jeremy Blanchard, 35, and Erik Pittman, 35, both of Memphis, Tennessee, were sentenced today to serve 70 and 33 months in prison, respectively, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return. Both were ordered to pay $549,000 in restitution.
Blanchard and Pittman pleaded guilty on March 10. According to the statement of facts filed with their plea agreements, Blanchard and Pittman, along with others, prepared numerous false tax returns for the 2011 tax year for customers of their tax return preparation business. Blanchard and Pittman were preparers in Mo Money Taxes, which operated three locations in Richmond. Blanchard and Pittman admitted that they created and inflated fictitious and fraudulent tax credits, including the Earned Income Credit and the American Opportunity credit, to claim tax refunds that customers were not entitled to receive. As part of their guilty pleas, Blanchard and Pittman admitted that their conduct caused a loss to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of more than $250,000, but less than $550,000.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Caroline D. Ciraolo, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Tax Division; and Thomas Jankowski, Special Agent in Charge of IRS-Criminal Investigations, Washington D.C. Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Miller, and Trial Attorneys Kevin F. Sweeney and Todd Kostyshak of the Tax Division prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:15-cr-136.