Suffolk woman pleads guilty to $1.6 million tax fraud

Posted at 8:45 PM, Jun 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-20 20:48:56-04

SUFFOLK, Va. – A woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to her role in a fraud scheme that prepared hundreds of false tax returns, resulting in a loss of approximately $1.6 million to the United States.

Court documents stated 43-year-old Stephanie Towns was one of the principal tax preparers at A Plus Tax Service and NN Financial.

The establishments operated as tax preparation businesses at different periods between July 2009 and February 2014.

Towns, along with co-defendants Brenda Benn and Kevin Towns, conspired to operate a business based on creating false tax returns that generated inflated refunds for their clients in order to cultivate good will and generate repeat business, the Department of Defense said.

The defendants would claim false education-related expenses, excessively high amounts of charitable contributions, and manipulated the amount of income to take advantage of certain tax credits.

The customers did not persuade or instruct the tax preparers to generate the false returns, the DOD said.

Towns pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States and aiding the preparation of a false tax return.

She faces a maximum penalty of 8 years in prison when sentenced on September 27.