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Press Release

Indictment: Topeka Man Filed False Returns

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Kansas

TOPEKA, KAN. – A Topeka tax preparer was charged in an indictment unsealed today with filing false tax returns, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

Maurice L. Stewart, 38, Topeka, Kan., is charged with 13 counts of filing false tax returns and 13 counts of wire fraud. The indictment alleges the government paid more than $479,000 in refunds to Stewart’s customers based on returns containing false information.

Stewart filed returns in clients’ names, falsely claiming the returns were self-prepared. He fraudulently reported that clients had suffered business losses. He filed returns electronically using the IP address of a Topeka business where he formerly was employed as an online IT technical services coordinator. He prepared returns using an online program where he had opened an account using another person’s name.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of three years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count of filing a false return, and a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $250,000 on each wire fraud count. Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rich Hathaway is prosecuting.

In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.

Updated February 4, 2016