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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Three Sentenced For Roles In Fraudulent Income Tax Return Prep Scheme

In Waco today, U.S. District Judge Walter S. Smith, Jr., sentenced the owner of A-Kind Bookkeeping and Tax (AKBT) located in Mexia, TX, and her daughter to federal prison for their roles in a fraudulent Income Tax Return preparation scheme announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman and IRS-Criminal Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge William Cotter.

AKBT owner Patricia “Sissy” Foley was sentenced to two years incarceration followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $842,815 restitution to the IRS after pleading guilty in June to one count of conspiracy to commit tax fraud.

Foley’s daughter, Cassandra Renee Egbert (aka Cassandra Renee Foley), was sentenced to 18 months incarceration followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to jointly pay the same amount of restitution after pleading guilty in June to one count of conspiracy to commit tax fraud.

In addition, Lana Renee Catalena (aka Lana Rene Venable) was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay a $4,000 fine after pleading guilty in August to one count of aiding or assisting false or fraudulent tax returns.

A fourth defendant in this case, Joshua Duane Stifle, was scheduled to be sentenced today but instead, he filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea.  In August, Stifle pleaded guilty in August to one count of aiding or assisting false or fraudulent tax returns and one count of making a false statement.  Judge Smith has taken his motion under advisement. 

According to court records, from January 2007 until April 15, 2010, the defendants were involved in preparing and filing fraudulent Income Tax Returns with the Internal Revenue Service in which they falsely claimed deductions and credits (i.e. head of household, first time home buyer) they knew the filer was not entitled to receive.

“While most return preparers provide excellent service to their clients, a few unscrupulous tax preparers file false and fraudulent returns to defraud the government and their own clients. Our special agents use their investigative and financial expertise to detect and hold accountable abusive tax return preparers who falsely tell taxpayers they are eligible for tax credits that they are not entitled to receive. These sentences are a reminder that all tax professionals have to respect the law and protect the interests of their clients and the taxpaying public,” stated IRS Criminal Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge William Cotter.

Assistant United States Attorney Greg Gloff prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.

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Updated December 15, 2014