Former Mississippi Return Preparer Pleads Guilty to Filing a Fraudulent Tax Refund Claim

A former resident of Durant, Mississippi pleaded guilty today to preparing and filing a fraudulent claim for a tax refund with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney D. Michael Hurst, Jr. of the Southern District of Mississippi. 

According to court documents and information provided in court, from 2005 through 2015, Teresa C. Chism operated tax return preparation businesses in Mississippi named Mo’ Money, MoneyCo USA, and Lady T Taxes .  Chism falsified her clients’ returns in different ways in order to increase their tax refunds, including reporting false wages, false self-employment income and expenses, and false education credits.  In total, Chism prepared more than 550 false tax returns, seeking over $3.5 million in fraudulent tax refunds.  The IRS paid at least $3.2 million in refunds on these bogus claims.  Chism also did not file individual tax returns or pay taxes on her own income for 2013-2015, despite earning more than $100,000 during those years. 

Sentencing is scheduled for November 8, 2018.  Chism faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison, as well as, a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Hurst commended special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Robert J. Boudreau and William Montague of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Helen Wall of the Southern District of Mississippi, who are prosecuting the case.

Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.

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Author: August 10, 2018

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