9 Indicted in Tax Fraud Scheme That Targeted Homeless People - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

9 Indicted in Tax Fraud Scheme That Targeted Homeless People

Posted: Updated:

BALTIMORE (AP)- Tax preparers at a Baltimore company bribed homeless people to file fraudulent tax returns, a Maryland prosecutor's office said Friday, as it announced the indictments of nine people.
    
David Nitkin, a spokesman for Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, announced the indictments in a news release.
    
Charging documents say the owner of several Liberty Tax storefronts in Baltimore targeted homeless shelters, transitional facilities and drug rehabilitation centers, offering vulnerable residents $50 to meet with a tax preparer.
    
Tax preparers would create returns that maximized the earned income tax credit the applicant could receive and gave the highest refund without Social Security or Medicare taxes being withheld.
    
The earned income tax credit pays money to qualifying poor people. Liberty Tax kept the majority of it.
    
According to charging documents, the bogus filers would typically appear to be eligible for a $620 combined state and federal tax return, and Liberty Tax would keep more than $400 of it. Authorities say the scheme was perpetrated more than 1,100 times between Jan. 1 and Feb. 21 of 2015. Authorities allege that the scheme was orchestrated by the owner, Lateisha Vanessa Kone.
    
The release says Internal Revenue Service received complaints from Liberty Tax Service, Kone's national franchiser, and flagged the returns as suspicious. A spokesman Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said the investigation began long before those complaints were filed.
    
"The owner and her associates targeted the most vulnerable - the homeless, disabled, drug addicted and poor people already struggling for stability," said Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot.
    
The suspects have been charged with conspiracy to steal over $100,000 from the State of Maryland, conspiracy to prepare false income tax returns and preparing false tax returns.
    
The tax charges carry up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, while the theft charges carry up to 25 years in jail and a $100,000 fine.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Crews Working to Restore Power Following Stevensville Tornado

    Crews Working to Restore Power Following Stevensville Tornado

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 4:43 AM EDT2017-07-25 08:43:20 GMT
    Tuesday, July 25 2017 4:43 AM EDT2017-07-25 08:43:20 GMT
    Delmarva Power crews worked overnight to restore power following Monday morning's EF2 tornado that tore through part of Queen Anne's County.More
    Delmarva Power crews worked overnight to restore power following Monday morning's EF2 tornado that tore through part of Queen Anne's County.More
  • Local Volunteer Organization Making a Change

    Local Volunteer Organization Making a Change

    07/24/2017 20:04:00 -04:002017-07-25 00:04:00 GMT
    Monday, July 24 2017 8:34 PM EDT2017-07-25 00:34:33 GMT
    Pile of clothes being assorted before deliveryPile of clothes being assorted before delivery
    "Clothing Our Kids," a local volunteer run organization that had its start in a home, has grown, and is making a significant impact on Sussex County. The charity collects and donates clothing to 33 elementary schools for children K-5.More
    "Clothing Our Kids," a local volunteer run organization that had its start in a home, has grown, and is making a significant impact on Sussex County. The charity collects and donates clothing to 33 elementary schools for children K-5.More
  • U.S. Ag Secretary Visits Delaware State Fair

    U.S. Ag Secretary Visits Delaware State Fair

    Monday, July 24 2017 8:27 PM EDT2017-07-25 00:27:20 GMT
    Monday, July 24 2017 8:27 PM EDT2017-07-25 00:27:20 GMT
    HARRINGTON, Del. -- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue visited the Delaware State Fair on Monday, visiting a number of young growers and farmers from the region.Perdue, a former governor of Georgia with no relation to the chicken company prevalent oMore
    HARRINGTON, Del. -- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue visited the Delaware State Fair on Monday, visiting a number of young growers and farmers from the region.Perdue, a former governor of Georgia with no relation to the chicken company prevalent oMore
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Salisbury Man Sentenced to 25 Years After Third Felony Drug Conviction

    Salisbury Man Sentenced to 25 Years After Third Felony Drug Conviction

    Thursday, July 23 2015 12:15 PM EDT2015-07-23 16:15:04 GMT
    Thursday, July 23 2015 12:48 PM EDT2015-07-23 16:48:44 GMT
    A Salisbury man convicted last month of cocaine possession and “maintaining a common nuisance” has been sentenced to 25 years without parole, the Wicomico County State's Attorney's Office announced Thursday.More
    A Salisbury man convicted last month of cocaine possession and “maintaining a common nuisance” has been sentenced to 25 years without parole, the Wicomico County State's Attorney's Office announced Thursday.More
  • Updated: Queen Anne's County Tornado Confirmed

    Damage, Power Outages Reported After Maryland Severe Weather

    07/24/2017 07:59:00 -04:002017-07-24 11:59:00 GMT
    Monday, July 24 2017 3:29 PM EDT2017-07-24 19:29:58 GMT
    A large tree fell on this house in Stevensville, Md. during an overnight severe storm that passed through the area. (Photo:  Frank Tedesco/ Atlantic City Electric)A large tree fell on this house in Stevensville, Md. during an overnight severe storm that passed through the area. (Photo: Frank Tedesco/ Atlantic City Electric)
    A National Weather Service team has confirmed an EF2 tornado touched down in Queen Anne's County on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The tornado downed trees, damaged homes, and knocked out power out for thousands.More
    A National Weather Service team has confirmed an EF2 tornado touched down in Queen Anne's County on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The overnight weather event downed trees, damaged homes, and knocked out power out for thousands.More
  • Police Searching for Wanted Man in Laurel

    Police Searching for Wanted Man in Laurel

    Monday, July 24 2017 3:32 PM EDT2017-07-24 19:32:32 GMT
    Monday, July 24 2017 3:32 PM EDT2017-07-24 19:32:32 GMT
    Michael K. WashingtonMichael K. Washington
    Delaware State Police are asking for the public's help in locating a local man for assault and other charges.More
    Delaware State Police are asking for the public's help in locating a local man for assault and other charges.More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Tornado Destroys Homes in Stevensville

    Tornado Destroys Homes in Stevensville

    Several homes in the Bay City area of Stevensville were left extremely damaged after a tornado.

    More

    Several homes in the Bay City area of Stevensville were left extremely damaged after a tornado.

    More
  • Damage, Power Outages Reported in Queen Anne's Co. After Severe Weather

    Damage, Power Outages Reported in Queen Anne's Co. After Severe Weather

    A National Weather Service team is headed to Maryland's Eastern Shore to determine whether a tornado touched down there.

    The weather service says the team is headed to Queen Anne's County on Monday to assess damage from the early morning storm that downed trees, collapsed buildings and knocked out power to thousands overnight in the Stevensville area of Kent Island. County officials say one person was injured but those injuries were not life-threatening.

    More

    A National Weather Service team is headed to Maryland's Eastern Shore to determine whether a tornado touched down there.

    The weather service says the team is headed to Queen Anne's County on Monday to assess damage from the early morning storm that downed trees, collapsed buildings and knocked out power to thousands overnight in the Stevensville area of Kent Island. County officials say one person was injured but those injuries were not life-threatening.

    More
  • Three More Suspects Arrested in Bank of Delmarva Holdup

    Three More Suspects Arrested in Bank of Delmarva Holdup

    Detectives with the Salisbury Police Department have arrested three more suspects in connection with the Dec. 9 armed robbery of the Bank of Delmarva branch on Eastern Shore Drive. 

    More

    Detectives with the Salisbury Police Department have arrested three more suspects in connection with the Dec. 9 armed robbery of the Bank of Delmarva branch on Eastern Shore Drive. 

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices