Port Arthur Woman Charged in SYAM Tax Service Scheme
BEAUMONT, TX—A 61-year-old Port Arthur, Texas woman has been charged for her role in the SYAM Tax Service Scheme in the Eastern district of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.
Diana Broussard McCoy was indicted on Oct. 1, 2014 by a federal grand jury charging her with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
McCoy joins Shannon Tecoko Mays, 36, of Dallas, who was previously indicted on Feb. 5, 2014, for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Mays is currently scheduled for trial on Dec. 8, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Ron Clark.
According to prosecutors, an investigation began in August 2012 in response to numerous complaints to state and federal authorities from citizens in Port Arthur, Anahuac, Nacogdoches and Lufkin, Texas regarding income tax returns that were being fraudulently prepared on their behalf. During the investigation, it was discovered that Mays was operating numerous offices across the United States under the name “Syam Tax Services, L.L.C.” and “Baby Momma Tax.” Although the principal office was located in Dallas, Mays also operated or sought to operate satellite offices in numerous other locations, including Fort Worth, Houston, New Orleans, Memphis, Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles.
The indictment alleges that Mays employed McCoy as a “recruiter” for Southeast Texas, paying her between $50-100 for every client she successfully brought into Syam Tax. Mays targeted individuals who were generally exempt from having to file income tax returns because they would be less likely to discover a fraudulent tax return had been filed on their behalf. In order to avoid detection, Mays altered the taxpayer’s address and phone numbers on the returns so that any phone calls or correspondence from the IRS would not reach the taxpayer. The scheme also used electronic deposits to ensure paper checks would not be mailed to the taxpayer.
On Aug. 22, 2012, Port Arthur Police and federal investigators executed a search warrant on McCoy’s residence in Port Arthur. Officers recovered numerous boxes of documents that contained the personal information of Port Arthur residents and had previously been faxed to Syam’s Houston office.
For the tax year 2011, Syam Tax filed 4,226 tax returns claiming approximately $3,150,406. If convicted, McCoy faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
This case is being investigated by Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Port Arthur Police Department, the Texas Attorney General’s Office—Consumer Protection Division, and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Baylor Wortham.
It is important to note that a grand jury indictment is not evidence of guilt.