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Press Release

Tax Preparer Sentenced To Federal Prison For Filing False Tax Returns And Identity Theft

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

BATON ROUGE, LA –United States Attorney Walt Green announced that Senior U.S. District Judge James J. Brady sentenced SHYWANDA UNDERWOOD, age 39, of Clinton, Louisiana, yesterday for filing false and fraudulent tax returns and identity theft. The defendant was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment, 2 years of supervised release following imprisonment, an order to pay $287,658 in restitution, and an order to forfeit $14,389 in illegal proceeds.

The defendant was sentenced after being convicted of scheming to defraud the IRS from January 2011 through June 2011 by submitting approximately 76 false tax returns which sought refunds totaling approximately $375,000. In the returns, by misrepresenting the taxpayers’ income and falsely claiming various credits, among other means, the defendant fraudulently claimed that the taxpayers were entitled to significant refunds from the IRS. With respect to some of the false returns, the defendant filed the returns using the means of identification of individuals who had not authorized her to use their identities.

U.S. Attorney Green stated: “Our office will continue to aggressively pursue those who steal other individuals’ identities and submit false tax returns in an effort to line their own pockets.”

Gabriel L. Grchan, Special Agent-in-Charge of IRS – Criminal Investigation, stated, “Shywanda Underwood was sentenced related to her involvement in a scheme of identity theft and tax fraud. For her participation in this scheme, Ms. Underwood received 24 months to serve in federal prison. IRS - CI wants the would-be-criminals out there to understand that tax fraud does not pay.”

This investigation was conducted by IRS - Criminal Investigations and the United States Secret Service. The matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Cam T. Le.

Updated December 15, 2014