Suffolk Woman Sentenced for $1.6 Million Tax Return Fraud
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia
NORFOLK, Va. – A Suffolk woman was sentenced today to 57 months in prison for her role in a fraud scheme that prepared hundreds of false tax returns that resulted in a loss of approximately $1.6 million to the United States.
According to court documents, Brenda Benn, 47, was the owner of A Plus Tax Service, later renamed NN Financial, which operated as a tax preparation business at different periods between July 2009 and February 2014. Benn, along with co-defendants Kevin Towns and Stephanie Towns, conspired to operate a business based on creating false tax returns that generated inflated refunds for their clients in order to cultivate good will and generate repeat business. They used methods such as claiming false education-related expenses, stating excessively high amounts of charitable contributions, and manipulating the amount of income to take advantage of certain tax credits. The customers did not persuade or instruct the tax preparers to generate the false returns.
Kevin Towns was sentenced on September 14 to 40 months in prison for his role in the conspiracy. Stephanie Towns was sentenced on September 27 to 10 months in prison followed by 20 months of home detention. All three defendants have been ordered to pay the government $1,683,159 in restitution.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Kimberly Lappin, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson. Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Stoker prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:17-cr-30.
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Updated December 14, 2017