Crime

Seven tax preparers plead guilty to fraud

The workers at the firm were trained to falsify client tax returns via ‘scripts and cheat sheets’

Seven tax return preparers at the North Carolina-based tax preparation business Kapital Financial Services have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the US by preparing and filing false tax returns.

Joseph Octave and Vonyeda Carson were the latest to be charged by principal deputy assistant general Richard Zuckerman on 12 January 2020. 

Melissa Greene, Natisha Holloman, Kimberly Joline, Whitney Vargas-Medrano and Wendia Courtois all pleaded guilty earlier in 2020.

From 2014 to 2019 Octave, alongside his employees who he trained via “scripts and cheat sheets”, conspired to falsify clients’ tax returns by claiming deductions, business losses, American opportunity credits, education credits, and earned income tax credits that the clients did not incur.

As a result the firm managed to “fraudulently increase” IRS refunds, providing Octave alone with $700,000 in preparation fees.

In addition to the conspiracy charge, Octave also pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and assisting in the filing of false tax returns.

At sentencing, which is due to be scheduled at a later date, Octave will receive a maximum of eight years in prison, while his co-conspirators will each face a maximum of five years.

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