Mo’ Money Tax Preparers Charged in Tax Return Scheme
RICHMOND, VA—Erik Pittman and Jeremy Blanchard, both 35 and from Memphis, Tennessee, and Corey Taylor, 25, of Richmond, were indicted by a federal grand jury today on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and aiding in the preparation of 19 false and fraudulent U.S. individual tax returns.
According to the indictment, Pittman, Blanchard and Taylor held themselves out as tax preparers for tax year 2011, operating three locations of a business known as Mo’ Money Taxes. The indictment alleges that the three men, along with others, created and inflated fictitious and fraudulent tax credits, including the Earned Income Credit and the American Opportunity credit, to claim tax refunds that customers were not entitled to receive.
If convicted, Pittman faces a maximum penalty of 23 years in prison; Blanchard 29 years; and Taylor 20 years. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Caroline Ciraolo, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice Tax Division; Thomas Jankowski, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI); Adam S. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’S Richmond Field Office; and David G. Bowers, Acting Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), made the announcement after the indictment was returned by the grand jury.
This case was investigated by IRS-CI, the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, and the USPIS. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen W. Miller, and Department of Justice Attorneys Todd Kostyshak and Kevin Sweeney are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:15-cr-196.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.