Tax Return Preparer Arrested For Conspiring To Defraud The United States By Filing False Tax Returns
GREENSBORO, N.C. – A Winston-Salem resident was arrested today on charges of tax fraud, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin of the Middle District of North Carolina.
According to the indictment, which was unsealed today, Claudia Lynette Shivers (“Shivers”) conspired with Shannon DeWayne Patterson (“Patterson”), Kristyn Dion Daney (“Daney”), Rakeem Lenell Scales (“Scales”) and others to defraud the government by preparing false tax returns. Shivers co-owned and operated tax return preparation businesses named Fast Tax of Winston-Salem, Inc. (“Fast Tax”) in Winston-Salem and Quick Taxes LLC (“Quick Taxes”) in Greensboro. Shivers and her co-conspirators agreed to falsify items on clients’ tax returns in order to maximize their refunds. As part of their scheme, Shivers and her co-conspirators would direct clients to hand-write false information on tax forms and other documents to create a false record of information provided to Fast Tax and Quick Taxes for the preparation of the clients’ tax returns. Shivers is also charged with aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns for several clients, as well as filing a false 2014 tax return for herself on which she failed to report all of her income.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed and the defendant is presumed innocent until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted, Shivers faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy count, three years in prison for each count of preparing false tax returns for clients, and three years in prison for the count of filing her own false tax return. She also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. Patterson, Daney and Scales have all pled guilty to charges of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, and are awaiting sentencing. Each faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison, a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.
“We will prosecute those who cheat on their taxes and those who coach others to cheat on their taxes. It harms all tax-payers and threatens the integrity of our system,” stated U.S. Attorney Martin.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Martin commended special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorney Robert J. Boudreau of the Tax Division and Criminal Division Chief Clifton T. Barrett of the Middle District of North Carolina, who are prosecuting the case. Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.