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Press Release

Tax Preparer Sentenced To 33 Months In Prison For Filing A False Tax Return And Lying On Loan Application

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina
United States Attorney Anne M. Tompkins Western District Of North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Nkhenge Shropshire, a/k/a Konjay Shropshire, 41, of Charlotte, was sentenced to 33 months in prison today for filing false tax returns and lying on a loan application, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Chief U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney ordered Shropshire to serve five years under court supervision following her prison term and to pay $582,933 as restitution to IRS and $14,309.17 and $25,000 respectively to two credit unions she defrauded.

U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined by Thomas J. Holloman III, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI) in making today’s announcement.

According to filed court documents and today’s sentencing hearing, Shropshire was the owner of “Tax Connections” a Charlotte tax return preparation business. Court records indicate that from 2009 to 2011, Shropshire aided and assisted in the preparation of more than 600 tax returns for clients which were e-filed with the IRS. According to court records, many of the tax returns prepared by Shropshire falsely included Schedule C losses and refundable education credits, which decreased the clients’ tax liabilities, resulting in larger tax refunds and false Earned Income Tax Credits. The tax loss associated with the false education credits is more than $580,000. Court records show that Shropshire directed that many of the fraudulent tax refunds be deposited into a business bank account she controlled, and kept a portion of the refund as payment for her services. On some occasions, according to court records, Shropshire did not provide her clients with copies of their completed tax returns or gave them incomplete copies, so clients would not know their returns contained false information.

According to filed court documents, in October 2011 Shropshire applied for membership with a federal credit union using a different social security number and home address. On the same day, court records show, Shropshire also filled out an application for a car loan with the same credit union for the purchase of a 2008 Mercedes CLS 550 vehicle. On that car loan application, Shropshire listed a false employer, false annual salary and false job title. Court records also show that Shropshire was approved for a $40,075 car loan but only made two payments totaling $2,508.50. Shropshire pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the IRS and to making false statements on a loan application in October 2013.

In handing down Shropshire’s sentence today, Judge Whitney noted that we have a “system based on truth” and “self-reporting,” and that we rely on individuals filing taxes to be honest and even more on return preparers. Judge Whitney also stated that the victims in this case are honest tax payers and that this crime victimizes every single honest taxpayer.

Shropshire will be ordered to self-report to the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

The investigation was handled by IRS-CI. Assistant United States Attorney Jenny G. Sugar of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case.

Updated March 19, 2015