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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Kalamazoo Tax Preparer, Fontrice Lenee Charles, Guilty On Multiple Counts Of Tax Fraud

"#1 Tax Lady" found guilty of filing multiple phony tax returns

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles announced today that Fontrice Lenee Charles, 39, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, was found guilty of 27 felony tax charges following a four-day jury trial. The charges stem from Charles’s Kalamazoo business, "#1 Tax Lady."

          The jury found Charles guilty of 25 counts of filing false tax returns on behalf of clients between January 17, 2011 and February 4, 2014. Each of these counts carries a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison and other penalties. The evidence showed that Charles supplied false information designed to ensure hefty refunds. Further, the jury was advised that Charles prepared a total of 967 such tax returns during this period, resulting in improper tax refunds of approximately $4,000,000.

          The jury also found Charles guilty of filing her own false tax returns for 2010 and 2011. These returns were false because they did not report the income that Charles earned as a result of her fraudulent tax preparation activity, and because she claimed a deceased person as a dependent. Each of these offenses carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison.

          Charles will be sentenced before U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney at a future date. Prosecution of the matter was handled by Timothy VerHey, Assistant U.S. Attorney. The matter was investigated by the Grand Rapids office of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.


Updated February 4, 2016