Prattville Woman Pleads Guilty to Filing Fraudulent Tax Return
Montgomery, Alabama - On Monday, April 29, 2019, Candace Brie Betances, 42, of Prattville, Alabama pleaded guilty to submitting false claims to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seeking tax refunds, announced United States Attorney Louis V. Franklin, Sr., and IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Holloman.
The guilty plea comes after Betances was indicted by a federal grand jury in February of 2019 on four counts of making false claims against the government. Court documents show that in July 2015 she filed a tax return for the 2013 tax year and claimed that her employer withheld $1,152,320.00 in federal taxes. Based on this false statement regarding her withholdings, she requested that the United States Treasury pay her $253,080.00. When filing the return, Betances knew the claim was false, that the withholding amount was not accurate, and that she was not owed the tax refund. Fortunately, the IRS detected the fraud and did not pay the requested refund.
Betances’s sentencing hearing will occur in the next few months. At that hearing, Betances will be facing up to five years in prison and substantial fines.
“By making false statements on her tax return, Ms. Betances was attempting to defraud the government and steal from every American taxpayer,” stated U. S. Attorney Franklin. “I am pleased that the Internal Revenue Service was able to prevent the loss of tax dollars in this case and I pledge that my office will prosecute anyone that wants to use the United States Treasury as his or her own piggy bank.”
“This plea is an important victory for America's taxpayers who play by the rules and have no tolerance for those who make up their own rules,” said Special Agent in Charge Holloman. “This investigation serves to remind us that there is no such thing as free money and there are no awards or incentives for creativity when it comes to crime. We will continue to utilize our resources and work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in holding those accountable who attempt to defraud the government and steal from the American taxpayer.”
The IRS’s Criminal Investigation Division investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan S. Ross is prosecuting the case.