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Justice News

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

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tax Preparer Arrested For Allegedly Stealing More Than $220,000 From The Government

An Indictment Is A Formal Accusation Of Criminal Conduct, Not Evidence.

LAREDO, Texas – Michelle A. Morin has been arrested following the return of a 14-count indictment alleging she aided and assisted in the preparation of false and fraudulent income tax returns, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

Morin was arrested yesterday on the sealed indictment, returned Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. It was unsealed this morning as she appeared before US. Magistrate Court Judge Scott Hacker, at which time she was permitted release upon posting a $75,000 cash/surety bond and surrendering her U.S. passport.

The indictment alleges that between tax years of 2007 to 2010, Morin aided and assisted in the preparation of U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns Forms 1040. The forms were allegedly false and fraudulent. According to allegations, the forms represented taxpayers were entitled to claim specified amounts in business losses, interest and taxes paid, gifts to charity, job expenses and miscellaneous deductions as well as residential energy credits. Morin knew the taxpayers were not entitled to claim the deductions, according to the charges.  

Morin is accused of assisting in the preparation of 14 fraudulent tax returns for a total of seven different taxpayers during the four-year-period, resulting in a total tax harm of more than $220,000 to the United States.

If convicted, Morin faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count. This case was investigated by the IRS-Criminal Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sanjeev Bhasker.

A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.

Updated April 30, 2015