Local Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty To Filing 79 False IRS Claims - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

Local Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty To Filing 79 False Claims For Tax Refunds

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -

A local income tax preparer pleaded guilty Wednesday to filing 79 false income tax returns.

According to the IRS, 33-year-old Akiesha L. Ball, of Groveport, pleaded guilty to filing 79 false claims for federal income tax refunds with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  In addition, Ball agreed to be permanently enjoined from preparing or filing federal income tax returns on behalf of third parties.  Filing false claims for federal income tax refunds with the IRS is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

According to court documents, between 2008 and 2011 Ball willfully prepared and filed at least 79 false federal income tax returns with the IRS which claimed more than $400,000 in false federal income tax refunds.

Ball prepared and filed the false federal income tax returns for herself and other individuals she recruited whom she knew earned very little or no income.  Each fraudulent income tax return was filed with a false Form W-2.  The individuals either never worked for the reported employers, or their wages and withholdings were grossly inflated.  The false form's W-2 qualified the individuals for income tax refunds for which they otherwise would not have received.

In addition, Ball was able to increase the amounts of the income tax refunds by claiming false deductions and credits.  The false deductions included those for student loan interest and tuition payments, and the false credits included those for first-time-homebuyers and education payments.

The false income tax refunds that were received based upon the filing of the false income tax returns were split between Ball and the individuals she recruited.

Ball was released on bond pending sentencing, for which a date has not yet been set.

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