Cleveland tax preparer charged for claiming $800,000 in fraudulent tax refunds
A Cleveland woman was charged in federal court for aiding and abetting the filing of false tax returns, said Carole S. Rendon, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Troy Stemen, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office.
Leona T. Moore, 38, aka, Leona McDonald, was charged via criminal information with 34 counts of aiding and sssisting in the preparation of false income tax returns. The information alleges that for the tax years 2013 through 2015, Moore caused the IRS to issue over $800,000 in fraudulently obtained refunds.
Moore operated a tax preparation business known variously as Leona Moore Tax Services or Moore’s Tax Service. Moore obtained clients by word of mouth and through Facebook.
Moore filed tax returns for clients containing various false statements, including, among others, false information about self-employment, false and inflated information about the amount of income and false information about the number of dependents, all in order to generate false refunds based on the Earned Income Credit and/or the Additional Child Credit, according to the information.
Moore split the fraudulently obtained refunds with her clients, according to the information.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violations. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and, in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.
A charge is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann C. Rowland following an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation.