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Press Release

San Francisco Tax Return Preparer Pleads Guilty To Filing False Tax Return

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California

SAN FRANCISCO – Thomalyn Virden pleaded guilty in federal court in San Francisco today to filing a false tax return with the Internal Revenue Service, announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Michael T. Batdorf, Special Agent in Charge of Internal Revenue Service. 

In pleading guilty, Virden, 53, of San Francisco, admitted that she prepared and caused to be filed a false tax return which falsely reported that a taxpayer had paid $4,000 in education expenses for post-secondary education.  By stating that the filer incurred the post-secondary education expenses, the taxpayer was able to make a claim to receive a refund of approximately $1,000 to which the taxpayer was not entitled.  Virden charged a fee for preparing the tax returns.  As part of her plea agreement, Virden further acknowledged she prepared other similar false returns as part of a course of conduct and common scheme.  She also acknowledged that the additional tax returns were false because they claimed a refund based on education expenses that were not incurred by the taxpayers and that she charged a fee for preparing the tax returns. 

Virden, was indicted by a federal grand jury on January 6, 2015.  She was charged with one count of conspiracy to file false claims, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 286, and three counts of filing false claims in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 287.  Under the plea agreement, Virden pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false claim, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 287. 

Virden was released on bond.  Her next court appearance is scheduled for December 9, 2016, for a sentencing hearing before the Honorable Susan Illston, U.S. District Judge, in San Francisco.  The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 287 is 5 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 plus restitution, if appropriate.  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.

Cynthia Stier and Laurie Gray are the Assistant U.S. Attorneys prosecuting the case.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service. 

Updated September 20, 2016