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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Former IRS Employee Pleads Guilty To Tax Fraud

SAN FRANCISCO – Valorie Shaw pleaded guilty in federal court in San Francisco today to conspiracy to file false claims, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge José M. Martinez.

In pleading guilty, Shaw, 38, of Oakland, admitted that for the past three years she was employed as a tax return preparer at “Kwiktax”.  Prior to working at Kwiktax, she held a variety of jobs, including working as a document transporter for the IRS.

According to the plea agreement, during 2011 and 2012, Shaw prepared false tax returns that she filed with the IRS. She received personal identifying information of Kwiktax clients, including their names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers. The purported filers listed on those tax returns were not entitled to tax refunds because the wage and tax withholding information listed on the returns was fictitious. Shaw filed false W-2 information that reported to the IRS that the purported filers worked for the employers listed on the W-2’s, even though she knew that information was false. Shaw filed the false tax returns using both Kwiktax client and non-client personal information, all of which she obtained illegally.  When Shaw filed the false tax returns, she asked that the tax refunds be deposited onto debit cards and sent to various mailboxes that Shaw rented in the Bay Area.  Shaw admitted that she personally picked up the debit cards from those mailboxes and in some cases agreed to split the tax refunds with others.  During 2011, Shaw assisted in filing false tax returns requesting refunds in an amount no less than $487,248, for the 2010 tax year.  During 2012, Shaw assisted in filing false tax returns requesting refunds totaling amount $495,789, for the 2011 tax year.

Shaw was indicted on August 14, 2014.  She was charged with conspiracy to file false claims.  Under the plea agreement, Shaw pleaded guilty to that charge.

Shaw’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 22, 2015, before The Honorable Jon S. Tigar, U.S. District Court Judge.  The maximum statutory penalty for each count of conspiracy to file false claims, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 286, is 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.  However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Thomas Newman is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

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Updated September 1, 2015