Macon tax preparer sentenced for filing false returns
A central Georgia tax return preparer has been sentenced to 60 months in prison for filing false returns.
Willie C. Grant of Macon was sentenced to 60 months in prison by for filing false claims for tax refunds, theft of government money and aggravated identity theft.
U.S. District Court Chief Judge C. Ashley Royal also ordered Grant to pay over $200,000 in restitution to the IRS.
According to court documents, from 2003 through 2008, Grant owned and operated a tax return preparation business, Grant Income Tax Bookkeeping and Check Cash (GIT) out of his home in Macon. During this time, Grant filed false federal income tax returns in the names of deceased individuals and used many of his former clients' names and Social Security numbers to file wholly fraudulent returns without their knowledge or consent.
Grant then directed the IRS to either electronically deposit refunds into his personal or business bank accounts or issue paper refund Treasury checks which he cashed or deposited into bank accounts he controlled. Grant spent the proceeds of his false refund scheme on personal items including expensive cars and personal living expenses.
Grant admitted that that he abused his position of private trust as a professional paid tax preparer in committing these crimes.
"Honest taxpayers are doubly harmed when they entrust return preparers with their information, who turn out to be thieves who steal that information to enrich themselves by making fraudulent refund claims," said Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally. "The Justice Department will investigate and prosecute stolen identity refund fraud in all of its various forms."
"When Mr. Grant stole these identities and defrauded the IRS, he victimized not only the people whose names and social security numbers he used, but every tax paying citizen in the United States. My office, with the continued cooperation of our law enforcement partners, will make sure that people like Mr. Grant are held to account for their fraud," said Michael Moore, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.