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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Two Co-Conspirators Sentenced for Roles in Tax Fraud Scheme

Memphis, TN – Two Memphians have been sentenced for their roles in a tax fraud scheme that defrauded the government of more than $100,000. Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee; Tracey D. Montaño, Special Agent in Charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation; and Tom Noyes, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service – Charlotte Division announced the sentences today.

According to information presented in court, Kevin Travell Gray, 45, and Mary Payne Curtis, 54; both of Memphis, Tennessee; prepared fraudulent income tax returns between 2011 and 2015.

During the tax scheme, Curtis operated "Right Now Taxes," a tax preparation company in Memphis. Curtis conspired with Gray to use the company to prepare fraudulent income tax returns. The tax returns included false home-based business expenses, education credits and other material misrepresentations on clients’ tax returns. The fraudulent information was used to boost tax refund amounts.

As a result of the fraudulent returns prepared, the IRS approved numerous fraudulent refunds. The investigation revealed that more than $100,000 of false claims were filed during the scheme.

In May 2016, Gray and Curtis both pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John T. Fowlkes Jr. to one count of willfully assisting in the preparation of fraudulent income tax returns.

In August 2016, Judge Fowlkes sentenced Curtis to nine months of home detention and ordered her to pay $105,555 in restitution.

On Tuesday, September 20th, U.S. District Court Judge Sheryl H. Lipman sentenced Gray to 33 months in federal prison and ordered him to pay $151,552 in restitution.

This case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Hall prosecuted this case on the government’s behalf.

Updated September 20, 2016