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Press Release

Former Tennessee Probation Officer Pleads Guilty in Tax Fraud Scheme

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

Memphis, TN A former State of Tennessee probation officer has pleaded guilty in a tax fraud scheme that defrauded the government of more than $50,000. Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the plea today.

According to information presented in court, between January 2011 and April 2014, LaShear Poole, 41, of Memphis, operated Five Star Tax Professionals, a tax preparation business. Poole, a probation officer at the time, used the business’ Professional Tax Identification Number (PTIN) and Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) to file federal income tax returns.

On at least 15 occasions for the tax years 2011–2013, the defendant prepared, and caused to be filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), federal income tax returns containing false and fraudulent misrepresentations. The majority of these misrepresentations pertained to the filing of false IRS Schedule C forms, which claimed income from businesses that either did not exist or were not actively engaged in business during the tax year as claimed.

Poole filed the fraudulent tax returns by means of wire communication. As a result of the scheme, she obtained more than $50,000 in tax refunds.

On Tuesday, March 22, 2016, Poole pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Sheryl H. Lipman to one count of conspiracy to violate the False Claims Act.

Poole is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday, June 24, 2016 at 10:30 a.m.

She faces up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.

This case is being investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher E. Cotten is prosecuting this case on the government’s behalf.

Updated March 23, 2016