Waco income tax return preparers sentenced to prison in tax scheme

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 10:56 AM CDT
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WASHINGTON (KWTX) - A group of Central Texas tax return preparers was sentenced to prison Thursday for conspiring to file false income tax returns.

According to court documents, between 2012 and 2017, Labanda Loyd, Deidra Brandon, Shaterian Parr, Jaleesia Sais, and Lashamekwa Alexander worked as return preparers at Tax World and another tax preparation firm in Waco.

Loyd also served as manager and Brandon was, at times, Loyd’s assistant manager. Together, they conspired to prepare and file tax returns that fraudulently claimed refunds their clients were not entitled to receive.

As manager, Loyd instructed some of her co-conspirators how to prepare the false returns, according to the Department of Justice.

“For some clients, the conspirators completely fabricated employment, wage and tax withholding information on their clients’ returns. For others, they altered the wages and withholdings legitimately reported to the IRS by their employers. In all, the conspirators caused a tax loss exceeding $1.8 million,” said the Department of Justice Public Affairs Office.

Loyd was sentenced to 51 months in prison, Sais was sentenced to 40 months in prison, Brandon was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison, Parr was sentenced to five years of probation and Alexander was sentenced to 40 months of probation.

In addition, Loyd, Sais, Brandon, Alexander and Parr were each ordered to pay $918,396 in restitution to the United States.

“Return preparers are entrusted to accurately report clients’ income tax information,” said Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division. “Those who violate that trust, as these defendants did, will face the consequences.”

“The sentencing of these criminals for their tax crimes during the ongoing tax season is a timely reminder justice will always prevail,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Rodrick J. Benton of IRS-CI’s Houston Field Office. “These tax preparers submitted false returns claiming fraudulent refunds to the IRS, all while betting they would not get caught. But the one thing they all forgot; no one is better at following the money than IRS-CI Special Agents.”