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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 12, 2015

Lavergne Tax Return Preparer Indicted For Tax Fraud

Michelle Theus, 40, of LaVergne, Tenn. was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury in Nashville on charges related to preparing and filing false federal income tax returns, announced David Rivera, U. S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee and Larry J. Wszalek, Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Tax Division.  Theus was charged with 26 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns for other individuals and two counts of filing false tax returns for herself.

According to the indictment, Theus aided in the preparation of at least 26 false tax returns for other individuals, from January 2009 through February 2012.  The returns reported items such as false dependents and false education and childcare credits.  The indictment further alleges that Theus made, signed, and filed false 2009 and 2010 tax returns that substantially underreported her income.

If convicted, Theus faces up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count. 

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Kathryn Ward Booth and United States Department of Justice Tax Division Trial Attorney Alexander R. Effendi are representing the United States.

An indictment is merely an accusation and is not evidence of guilt.  Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Updated March 19, 2015