Palmetto Woman Indicted On Tax Fraud Charges
Tampa, Florida – Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Latronda Brooks with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with income tax fraud. If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on the wire fraud count, followed by an additional two-year, consecutive sentence for the aggravated identity theft charge. The indictment also notifies Brooks that the United States is seeking a money judgment in the amount of $327,521, representing the proceeds of the alleged fraud.
According to the indictment, Brooks opened an Urban Trust Bank account in her name, doing business as Magnificent Tax Services. Although she had a tax preparer number, Brooks did not use it in preparing any tax returns instead, she used a “permission” form purportedly signed by the taxpayer that allegedly gave her permission to deposit and cash numerous third-party tax refund checks in her bank account, less a “service charge” of up to 25 percent. Brooks spent the money from the third-party tax refunds on personal expenditures and did not provide any of the funds to the taxpayers.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Manatee County Sherriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kelley Howard-Allen.