3 Charged in Potentially Huge Tax Scam
PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Charges of preparing false income tax returns have been filed against three tax advisers, one of whom allegedly told clients they were eligible for a ``slavery reparation tax credit,″ authorities said.
Rosemarie Loftus Burnett, 54, falsely claimed to be a trained tax preparer and crafted bogus returns for more than three dozen people, telling them they were eligible to claim an $8,000 credit on their federal income taxes if they were descended from slaves, the indictment announced Thursday said.
In a separate indictment, tax preparers Vernon Walker, 49, and Pearl Scott, 50, were charged with inventing deductions that led to refunds for nearly 250 clients, who would then receive discounts if they returned to the preparers the following year.
The trio allegedly cost the government a potential tax loss of more than $721,000, authorities said.
If convicted, Burnett faces a maximum sentence of 117 years and nearly $400,000 in fines, Walker faces up to 35 years imprisonment and more than $1.2 million in fines and Scott faces up to 26 years and more than $950,000 in fines.
It could not be immediately determined whether the defendants had attorneys. There were no phone listings for Burnett and Scott. A message left Thursday night at a number listed for Vernon Walker was not immediately returned.