Two Area Women Sentenced For Filing False Federal Income Tax Returns
Gemarian Douglas, 38, of Alorton, Illinois, and Anaya Bluiett, 26, of St. Louis, Missouri, were each sentenced for the offense of Filing False Federal Income Tax Returns, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Gemarian Douglas was sentenced to serve 2 months in prison, 1 year supervised release, pay a $5,000 fine and $4,911 in restitution. Anaya Bluiett was sentenced to serve 6 months home detention and pay a $1,000 fine as a condition of 5 years of probation and to pay restitution totaling $10,405.
Anaya Bluiett had false and fraudulent 2008, 2009 and 2010 federal income tax returns prepared by Prime Time Tax Services. Gemarian Douglas had filed a false and fraudulent 2009 federal income tax return. Additionally she had filed a false 2001 and 2002 federal tax return. Delaun Leflore and Carey Herron owned and operated Prime Time Tax Services (PTTS) located in Shiloh, Illinois. During the 2008-2011 filing seasons, Leflore and Herron used electronic software to prepare and file tax returns and they typically applied for refund anticipation loans. Leflore and Herron conspired together and with their clients to prepare false tax returns and claim fraudulent tax refunds. To accomplish this scheme, Leflore and Herron created false and fraudulent Schedule C income and expenses. The purpose of creating the false income was to maximize the earned income credit and other credits which generated large tax refunds. While meeting with their clients, Leflore and Herron discussed how to receive more money back by creating self-employment income. The clients agreed to participate in the scheme in order to receive a larger tax refund. Typically, the clients were referred to Leflore and Herron and visited the tax preparation business knowing they would file fraudulent tax returns. As part of the scheme, the clients were required to pay an extra cash fee to Leflore or Herron from the tax refund received. This amount was generally $500 in cash. This amount was in addition to the tax preparation fee which was automatically deducted from the tax refund by the bank processing the refund anticipation loan (RAL). Following the receipt of the RAL check, Leflore, Herron, or another representative of PTTS escorted the clients to a local check-cashing business named Belleville Quick Stop located in Belleville, Illinois. After the client cashed the RAL check, the client immediately gave the $500 in cash to Leflore, Herron, or another representative of Prime Time. Leflore and Herrron have already been prosecuted and are serving their prison sentences.
The prosecution is the result of an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service/Criminal Investigations, and was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman R. Smith.
To report criminal tax fraud, call I.R.S. Criminal Investigations at (618) 622-2160, or send the information to the Internal Revenue Service, Fresno, CA 93888.