Former Mississippi Tax Return Preparer Charged with Filing Fraudulent Refund Claims
Jackson, Miss. – Teresa Chism, 48, a former resident of Durant, Mississippi, was arrested Friday on charges of filing fraudulent tax refund claims with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Ted A. Magee, Acting Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation’s New Orleans Field Office.
According to an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in January, Teresa Chism was a tax return preparer doing business under the name Lady T Taxes in Holmes County, Mississippi. Between February 2013 and April 2015, Chism prepared numerous tax false returns for clients which claimed fraudulent refunds. Chism is also charged with preparing a false tax return for an undercover agent. On the tax return, Chism reported false wages and false education expenses, which caused the claimed tax refund to increase to more than double the correct amount.
Chism appeared for arraignment today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Ball. The case is set for trial on June 25, 2018, before U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate in Jackson. If convicted, Chism faces statutory maximum penalties of five years in prison on each count of presenting a false claim to the IRS. She also faces monetary penalties and restitution.
The case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Helen Wall and DOJ Tax Division Trial Attorney Robert J. Boudreau.
The public is reminded that an indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.