Four Milwaukee Liberty Tax preparers indicted for conspiracy and fraud

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Four former tax preparers in Milwaukee have been indicted for conspiracy to knowingly defraud the United States by preparing and filing with the IRS false tax returns that fraudulently claimed tax refunds to which the individuals were not entitled.

57-year-old Karen Tompkins, 40-year-old Shalonda Burns, 37-year-old Latoya Bush and 55-year-old Lori Ann Stringfellow all worked at Liberty Tax Service on Humboldt in Milwaukee.

Tompkins, Bush and Stringfellow were also charged with three counts each of willfully aiding in the preparation and filing of false federal income tax returns.

Burns was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of wire fraud. If convicted of the charges, Tompkins, Bush and Stringfellow could face up to 14 years in prison. Burns could face a total of 33 years in prison including a mandatory sentence of two years.

The indictment alleges that the defendants fabricated their client’s business income, which fraudulently inflated the Earned Income Credit each client could claim and thereby increased each client’s refund. In addition, the indictment alleges that the defendants also created false business income and expense invoices and received kickbacks from the tax refunds.

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