Father and Daughter Tax Return Preparers Sentenced for Fraud
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Alabama
BIRMINGHAM – A federal judge today sentenced a father and daughter who worked together in a Birmingham tax return preparation business for conspiring to defraud the government of more than $490,000 by falsely claiming education tax credits on clients’ tax forms, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Veronica Hyman-Pillott.
U.S. District Judge Karon O. Bowdre sentenced DEMETRIUS YOUNG, 52, and DEONDRA YOUNG, 30, both of Birmingham, for the tax fraud conspiracy and ordered them to pay $490,328 in restitution to the IRS. Judge Bowdre sentenced Demetrius Young to two years in prison and his daughter to three years’ probation, to include six months in home detention.
“These defendants committed a serious crime by taking advantage of tax laws and filing hundreds of false tax returns,” Vance said. “It is especially troubling when such fraud is committed by professionals who were trusted by their clients to submit accurate returns to the IRS. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the IRS continually investigate tax fraud and we will hold perpetrators accountable.”
“Individuals who participate in refund schemes are stealing directly from the United States Treasury,” Hyman-Pillot said. “Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation has a zero-tolerance policy for refund fraud. Today’s sentence should serve as a warning to those who are considering similar criminal activities. Let it be known that we will investigate and prosecute anyone who commits refund fraud and steals from the government.”
Demetrius Young was a tax return preparer and owner of Tax of America in Birmingham. His daughter worked as a tax preparer for Tax of America and she and her father planned that she would eventually own and run the business, according to the Youngs’ plea agreements with the government.
According to the plea agreements and other court documents, Demetrius and Deondra Young both prepared fraudulent tax returns for clients and worked in managerial positions overseeing the preparation of fraudulent tax returns by other preparers at Tax of America during the 2010 and 2011 tax years.
The American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Credits, or “education credit,” provides a tax credit for qualified tuition and related expenses paid during a tax year. The Youngs prepared fraudulent returns by adding false education credits to clients’ tax returns, without the consent or knowledge of the clients, according to court documents. They also approved returns prepared by others at Tax of America that included false education credits.
IRS-CI investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Robin Beardsley Mark prosecuted.
Updated November 20, 2015