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Press Release

Tennessee Probation Officer Indicted for Tax Fraud Scheme

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

Memphis, TN A State of Tennessee probation officer has been indicted on identity theft and wire fraud charges in relation to 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 indictment today.

As the indictment alleges, between 2011 and 2012, LaShear Poole, 41, of Memphis, operated Five Star Tax Professionals, a tax preparation business. Poole, also a probation officer, used the business’ Professional Tax Identification Number (PTIN) and Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) to file federal income tax returns.

Poole executed her scheme by unlawfully obtaining and possessing personal identifying information of U.S. taxpayers, which she used to electronically file federal income tax returns in their names. According to the indictment, Poole fraudulently prepared the tax returns of at least 13 individuals, making material false and fraudulent misrepresentations concerning the taxpayers’ employer and business information, income, and eligibility for education credits. The fraudulent tax returns were filed with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by means of wire communication. As a result of the scheme, Poole obtained more than $50,000 in tax refunds.

On Tuesday, December 15, 2015, Poole was indicted on 13 counts of wire fraud. She faces up to 20 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $1 million for each count.

Poole was also indicted on 13 counts of aggravated identity theft. She faces a mandatory sentence of two years (which would be served consecutive to any other term of imprisonment) and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count.

This case is being investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher E. Cotten is representing the government in this case.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated December 16, 2015