Two Houston-area tax preparers indicted
HOUSTON – Two women have been charged in a 32-count indictment related to the false filing of tax returns, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Rita Rogers made her initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christina A. Bryan this afternoon, while Joi Lin Hunt was in federal court earlier this week.
A Houston grand jury returned the indictment July 16 alleging one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and 31 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and filing of false income tax returns.
According to the indictment, Hunt and Rogers owned Caliente Xpress Tax Service, an income tax preparation company in Southwest Houston. There, they allegedly prepared returns for customers in tax years 2013-2016 which included false schedules on 1040 forms. These claimed company losses for customers who did not own any businesses and had no such expenses, according to the allegations.
The indictment further alleges Hunt and Rogers did not inform customers the Schedule Cs were being prepared on their behalf. Caliente Xpress allegedly charged fees ranging from $300 to $600 to prepare a tax return.
During the 2013-2016 tax years, Hunt and Rogers prepared in excess of 2,600 tax returns, according to the indictment.
If convicted, both face up to five years imprisonment and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
IRS-Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Quincy L. Ollison is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.