Mo’ Indictments For Mo’ Money Taxes, 20 Years Prison Possible

It is hard not to engage in wordplay about Mo’ Money Taxes being in mo’ trouble. But now, Erik Pittman and Jeremy Blanchard, both 35 and from Memphis, Tennessee, and Corey Taylor, 25, of Richmond, Virginia, have been indicted for conspiracy to defraud the United States and for aiding in the preparation of 19 false and fraudulent tax returns. The indictment claims that Pittman, Blanchard and Taylor operated three locations of the tax preparation firm. They are accused of creating and inflating fictitious and fraudulent tax credits.

The federal government tries hard to shut down tax preparers the government thinks are breaking the rules, shorting the IRS and hurting innocent taxpayers. The name of the tax preparation firm probably does not have any impact on this issue. Even so, Mo’ Money Taxes may not have been the most discreet choice. The feds have gone after this brand for the last few years.

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Even before the 2013 civil injunction action, there were mo’ troubles. In 2012, Mo’ Money franchise owner Jimi Clark of Memphis was indicted for tax fraud. In 2013, he plead guilty and was sentenced to 20 months in prison for falsely claiming educational tax credits on 47 returns. Other defendants also pleaded guilty. Then,in 2013, the Justice Department kept after Mo’ Money Taxes. 

At that point, it was a civil injunction lawsuit seeking to shut down the Memphis based tax-preparation chain. The chain may have fallen on hard times, but at one time the firm is said to have had nearly 300 offices in 18 states. The feds alleged that the then owners Markey Granberry and Derrick Robinson, along with store manager Eumora Reese, encouraged the preparation of fraudulent tax returns. As in the case of many other tax preparation shops, the primary targets the feds claim have been abused are tax credits the firm allegedly over-claimed for clients.

The current indictment against Erik Pittman, Jeremy Blanchard, and Corey Taylor, says that the Earned Income Credit and the American Opportunity credit were the biggest sources of their alleged fraud. If they are convicted, each could receive 20 years or more, with Blanchard facing up to 29 years. By comparison, tax evasion related to your own tax return is far less likely to result in a long jail term.

In the case of Mo’ Money Taxes, even before the 2013 civil injunction action, there were mo’ troubles. In 2012, Mo’ Money franchise owner Jimi Clark of Memphis was indicted for tax fraud. In 2013, he plead guilty and was sentenced to 20 months in prison for falsely claiming educational tax credits on 47 returns. Other defendants also pleaded guilty.

Many taxpayers get caught up in in the aftermath when tax preparers have trouble. Indeed, the fallout for innocent taxpayers patronizing a tax preparation shop that is in trouble can be far-reaching. People plan for the tax refund they are promised, and then do not receive it. Some end up having to refile, and they may never get back the sometimes very high fees they paid for the original return preparation work. Mo’ Money Taxes has faced those kinds of claims too.

For alerts to future tax articles, follow me on Forbes. You can reach me at Wood@WoodLLP.com. This discussion is not intended as legal advice, and cannot be relied upon for any purpose without the services of a qualified professional.

via The Tax Lawyer http://ift.tt/1McSfRo

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