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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Belleville Woman Guilty Of Preparing False Tax Returns

Earlier today, Tanesa L. Beverly, 31, of Belleville, Illinois, pled guilty to offenses arising from her participation in a fraudulent tax return preparation business, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced.

Beverly pled guilty to one count of conspiring to submit false claims to the United States and five additional counts of preparing false federal tax returns. Beverly is one of five defendants charged in a January 22, 2015, indictment relating to a tax return preparation business known as Tax King. Beverly and the other four defendants worked as return preparers at the East St. Louis office of Tax King. In pleading guilty today, Beverly admitted that she created false returns which enabled Tax King’s clients to obtain much bigger refunds than they were entitled to receive. Beverly did this by creating false Business Income and Schedules Cs in order to cause the clients to qualify for larger Earned Income Credits ("EICs"). The loss to the Government as a result of false returns prepared by Beverly is estimated to be $73,393.

The charge of conspiring to submit false claims carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Each charge of preparing false income tax returns carries a maximum sentence of 3 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Beverly’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for December 1, 2015, at 9:30 a.m.

The trial of the remaining five defendants, Edric A. Russell, Lakesha R. Wilson, Melissa L. Wiley, and Pierre J. Carter, is scheduled to begin on September 8, 2015.

An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge and is entitled to a fair trial at which the Government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service/Criminal Investigations. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Scott A. Verseman.

Updated May 6, 2015