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Press Release

Springfield Woman Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Springfield, Mo., woman pleaded guilty in federal court today to her role in a fraudulent tax return preparation scheme that claimed nearly $340,000 in fraudulent income tax refunds.


Claudia Dorsey, 33, of Springfield, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to participating in a conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims.


Co-defendant Cherie Christine Dupuis, 43, of Springfield, pleaded guilty on July 21, 2015, to leading the fraudulent tax return preparation conspiracy. Dupuis admitted that she and co-conspirators defrauded the government by filing false claims for income tax refunds from February 2009 to March 2012. In the false and fraudulent federal income tax returns they prepared and filed, conspirators claimed refunds from the IRS totaling approximately $340,630, of which approximately $336,839 was false.  Over the course of the scheme, the total actual tax loss to the IRS was $284,169.


Dupuis admitted that she filed fraudulent federal income tax returns in her own name and for at least 19 other individuals. Dupuis would usually split the fraudulent refunds with her co-conspirators. The total amount of the false claims Dupuis personally prepared and/or filed was approximately $298,708, with approximately $256,281 being paid on these false claims and a loss to the government of approximately $213,711.


During the 2009, 2010 and 2011 tax years, Dorsey assisted Dupuis in the conspiracy by permitting Dupuis to use her laptop computer and to list her address on tax returns. Dorsey also filed false tax returns in her own name during those years in which she falsely listed wages that had not been earned and federal income tax withholdings that had not been withheld. As a result, Dorsey fraudulently received a total of $27,791 in fraudulent income tax refunds. Dorsey also prepared and filed a false federal income tax return for another person who claimed a false refund of $10,237 for the 2011 tax year.


Dorsey is the 11th defendant to plead guilty to her role in the scheme. In addition to Dupuis, co-defendants Amanda Leigh Boyd, 33, Johnny L. Cooper, 28, and Jeannie Marie Rhodes, 34, all of Springfield; Heather Nicole Drennen, 32, of Cameron, Mo., formerly of Springfield; Shawna Marie Hughey, 37, of Joplin, Mo., formerly of Springfield; William J. Coonce, 29, of Otterville, Mo.; Jeannette R. Dunn, 48, of Huntsville, Ark., formerly of Springfield; Asia Michelle Couchman, 26, of Oak Grove, Mo.; and Delbert L. Allen, 37, of Pleasant Hope, Mo., formerly of Springfield, have also pleaded guilty.


Under federal statutes, Dorsey is subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.


This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Mohlhenrich. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.

Updated February 4, 2016