Former Owner and Former Supervisor of “Direct Tax” Preparation Business Sentenced for Tax Fraud
ATLANTA - Jessica Hills and Kiisha Hills have been sentenced for their roles in a tax fraud scheme involving Direct Tax, a tax preparation business with three locations in the Atlanta-College Park area. Jessica Hills owned and operated Direct Tax, and her sister, Kiisha Hills, acted as a supervisor in one office.
“The Hills’ stole the identities of thousands of taxpayers and then used the information to steal millions of dollars from the U.S. Treasury by filing fraudulent tax returns,” said U. S. Attorney John Horn. “Sadly, these “false filing” schemes are now all too common. As we approach tax filing season, this case is a reminder that taxpayers should carefully guard their Social Security numbers and other sensitive personal information and monitor any tax filing made on their behalf.”
“Return Preparer fraud is a priority for IRS Criminal Investigation and we have committed many resources to investigating and prosecuting cases just like this one,” stated Veronica F. Hyman-Pillot, Special Agent in Charge. “It is our hope that today's sentencing will send a strong message to other return preparers that committing refund fraud is a crime and can result in jail time.”
“Using the Social Security number of another to commit fraud, unfortunately, has become a common occurrence”, said Margaret Moore-Jackson, Special Agent-in-Charge, Social Security Administration-Office of the Inspector General. “SSA-OIG special agents are well-trained to detect, investigate, and locate identity thieves,” and that her office, “will utilize collaborations between law enforcement agencies at all levels, and continue to present cases to the U.S. Attorney’s Office to prosecute those who commit identity theft and financial fraud.”
According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: During tax years 2012, 2013, and 2014, Direct Tax filed over 2,000 federal income tax returns, seeking millions of dollars in refunds. These returns included either fraudulent information designed to increase the refund amount, or were filed using stolen identities. Direct Tax not only continued to file fraudulent tax returns after College Park police executed a search warrant at the College Park location, it also filed fraudulent tax returns after the IRS canceled its electronic filing number and after Jessica L. Hills was detained on federal charges. In total, Direct Tax filed returns claiming over $4 million in tax refunds.
Jessica L. Hills, 30, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones to 12 years in federal prison, followed by three years supervised release, and ordered pay restitution in the amount of $954,756.00 to the IRS and $62,528.00 to Georgia Department of Revenue. Jessica L. Hills was convicted on these charges on August 25, 2015, after she pleaded guilty.
Kiisha Hills, 26, of Atlanta, Georgia, was also sentenced by U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones to four years and three months in federal prison, followed by three years supervised release, and ordered to pay $346,850.00 in restitution to the IRS, and $9,248 to the Georgia Department of Revenue. Kiisha Hills was convicted on these charges on September 14, 2015, after she pleaded guilty.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Georgia Department of Revenue, Social Security Administration, and U.S. Secret Service.
Special Assistant United States Attorney Diane C. Schulman and Assistant United States Attorney Samir Kaushal prosecuted the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.