Birmingham Tax Preparer Sentenced to Five Years in Prison
BIRMINGHAM – A federal judge on Monday sentenced a Georgia woman to five years in prison for preparing and filing fraudulent tax returns for other people through her Birmingham-area business between 2009 and 2012, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Holloman.
U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor sentenced PATRICE ANDERSON, 38, of Fairburn, Georgia, on 13 tax-related counts. A federal jury convicted Anderson in September for using her Birmingham tax-preparation business, Queen’s Fast Tax, to file returns that she knew contained false information.
“If you steal from the federal government, you will be charged with a federal crime and you will go to a federal prison,” Town said. “Anderson earned every minute of her five years by siphoning away monies belonging to honest taxpayers from the U.S. Treasury.”
“Patrice Anderson’s sentence demonstrates the seriousness of violating our nation’s federal tax laws,” Holloman said. “Anderson must now serve prison time for her criminal actions, and pay restitution to the tax-paying citizens she defrauded. This sentence should send a clear message: schemes that are directed at cheating the U.S. taxpayers have serious consequences and will result in jail time.”
Evidence at trial showed that Anderson filed tax returns claiming refundable credits to which her clients were not entitled so that they could receive much larger refunds from the government than they were eligible to receive. In return, Anderson would charge the clients abnormally high fees – up to $3,000 per fraudulent return – to file their taxes, according to testimony. The court determined that Anderson, who operated Queen’s Fast Tax from 2009 through 2012, had filed tax returns claiming more than $3.6 million in refunds in 2010 and 2011 alone, and that at least half the claimed refunds in those years were fraudulent.
Anderson testified that she only included information provided by clients on the tax returns that she prepared, but the government presented evidence that Anderson’s own 2010, 2011 and 2012 tax returns contained some of the same false items that were characteristic of the fraudulent tax returns she filed for her clients.
IRS-CI investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorneys Xavier O. Carter Sr. and Kathryn McHugh prosecuted.