Owner of tax preparation business pleads guilty to using stolen identity information for fraudulent tax refunds
Marsha Elmore of Wetumpka, Ala., the owner of a tax preparation business called Community Tax, pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges related to her use of stolen identities to fraudulently obtain tax refunds, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. Elmore pleaded guilty to one count each of filing a false claim, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. On Aug. 31, 2011, she had been charged with those crimes as part of a 32-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Montgomery, Ala.
According to her plea agreement and other court documents, Elmore’s fraudulent activity ran from 2009 until July 2011, when she was arrested by the IRS on a criminal complaint. She unlawfully obtained the names, Social Security numbers and dates of births of various individuals and used them to file false tax returns through Community Tax. Those tax returns claimed refunds that were directed to bank accounts and debit cards that Elmore controlled. Elmore also filed false tax returns using online filing websites. Altogether, Community Tax and Elmore were linked to almost 1,400 tax returns during this time period. In her plea agreement, Elmore admitted that she personally filed many false returns through Community Tax.
Sentencing has not yet been scheduled. Elmore faces a minimum of two years and up to 27 years in prison, as well as up to three years of supervised release, mandatory restitution and a fine of up to $750,000 or twice the loss caused by her offenses.
Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Alabama