Tax Preparer Indicted In Tax Refund Scheme
MACON – Demetria Jones, aka “Picky”, 52, of Monroe, Georgia, was charged in an indictment with various tax offenses related to the filing of false income tax returns, aiding and assisting in the preparation of false income tax returns, theft of public money, and aggravated identity theft, announced U.S. Attorney Charles E. Peeler of the Middle District of Georgia and Thomas J. Holloman, III, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation – Atlanta Field Office.
The nine-count indictment, returned by a federal grand jury in Macon, charges Demetria Jones with two counts of filing false income tax returns; three counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false income tax returns; two counts of theft of public money and two counts of aggravated identity theft.
The indictment alleges that during the period under investigation, Demetria Jones owned and operated Jones & Jones Associates, LLC, a tax preparation business out of her home in Monroe, Georgia. The business name was later changed to Jones Accounting Firm, LLC. According to the indictment, Demetria Jones knowingly made and presented false income tax returns in the names of her purported entities for tax years 2008 through 2013 by filing false corporate income tax returns (Forms 1120), false amended corporate income tax returns (Form 1120X), false returns for real estate investment trust (Forms 1120-REIT), and claiming fraudulent refundable credits on Forms 2439 (Notice to Shareholder of Undistributed Long-Term Capital Gains) on the returns. With this alleged scheme, Demetria Jones claimed a total of $1,243,245 in false refundable credits resulting in refunds disbursed by the IRS totaling $598,399.88 and diverted all of the refunds into several bank accounts that she controlled.
In addition, the indictment further alleges that Demetria Jones also caused the filing of, or aided and assisted in the preparation/filing of, false 2011 through 2015 individual income tax returns (Forms 1040 and 1040X) by adding false Schedule Cs and/or W-2s with false wages along with false withholding amounts to clients’ income tax returns, primarily family members, without their knowledge. Demetria Jones allegedly used the identity of a deceased client to file a fraudulent individual income tax return without the knowledge of the deceased’s widow; she also allegedly used the identities of other clients without their knowledge. With this alleged scheme, Demetria Jones reported false wages totaling $2,542,410 along with false withholdings totaling $947,834 resulting in refunds disbursed by the IRS totaling $333,856.87, majority of which were diverted into several bank accounts controlled by Demetria Jones.
“This indictment signals enhancement of prosecutions alleging theft of taxpayer monies and identities in an effort to bilk the U.S. Treasury,” said Thomas J. Holloman, III, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation. “IRS-CI and its partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office stands committed to addressing unscrupulous return preparers who attempt to exploit their fiduciary responsibility when it comes to taxpayers and the Service.”
An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury, and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If convicted, the counts for filing of false income tax returns as well as aiding and assisting in the preparation of false income tax returns each carry a maximum statutory sentence of 3 years in prison and a $100,000 fine; the counts for theft of public money each carry a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; and the counts for aggravated identity theft each carry a mandatory sentence of 2 years in prison.
The investigation is being conducted by IRS-Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Graham A. Thorpe is in charge of prosecution.