STATESBORO, GA: A tax preparer has been charged with preparing fraudulent federal income tax returns that resulted in illegally excessive refunds for multiple clients.
Shawree A. Hagins, 58, of Millen, Ga., is charged with 36 counts of Fraud and False Statements in a federal indictment, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. In addition to fines and asset forfeiture, the charges carry a possible sentence of up to three years in prison, followed by a period of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.
According to the court documents, Hagins is charged with preparing 36 tax returns on behalf of 12 clients, fraudulently claiming deductions in excess of the amount to which the taxpayers were entitled. The fraudulent claims resulted in excessive refunds of $162,890.
“Tax fraud steals from every legal, taxpaying citizen,” said U.S. Attorney Christine. “In the Southern District, tax preparers who think they can earn a few extra bucks by committing fraud are in for a rude awakening – and a day of reckoning.”
“We cannot allow anyone to claim money that doesn’t belong to them at the expense of the American taxpayer,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The allegations against Hagins indicate a flagrant disrespect for the law and an abuse of a position of trust simply for personal greed.”
“The IRS Criminal Investigation Division takes tax violations very seriously,” said Thomas J. Holloman III, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Office. “As we approach the 2020 tax filing season, those who might consider preparing false tax returns should be aware of the extremely negative consequences as evidenced in this indictment. The indictment of Shawree Hagins emphasizes that the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue their aggressive pursuit of those who would attempt to defraud America’s tax system.”
Criminal indictments contain only charges; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations and the FBI, and is being prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara Lyons.