November 27, 2014

Prison sentence handed down to Standish tax preparer

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Sally Scheall, 45, of Standish, was sentenced to 27 months in prison following a one-year release for willfully aiding and assisting in the preparation of false and fraudulent tax returns, announced United States Attorney Terrence Berg on April 1.

She was also ordered to pay restitutions of $76,459 and change, which represents the penalties and interest that taxpayers would have to pay to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the fraudulent tax filings. Scheall will also be prohibited from preparing any tax return, except her own, while under supervision of the court.

According to court records, from 2004-2006, Scheall willfully prepared 123 tax returns claiming Schedule “A” deductions in amounts that she knew were materially false and that the taxpayers were not entitled to claim. The resulting tax losses to the IRS totaled over $230,000. Scheall, causing inflated refunds to taxpayers whose returns were falsely filed, electronically filed all of these false and fraudulent tax returns with the IRS.

“Tax preparers owe a special duty to their customers and to the law not to create false tax returns to generate bogus refunds,” Berg said. “When a tax preparer perpetrates a fraud, the punishment could be yeas in federal prison, as it was here.”

“No one is entitled to an undeserved windfall and refunds should only be issued to taxpayers who are entitled to them,” added Special Agent in Charge, Maurice M. Aouate, IRS Criminal Investigation Division. “At the IRS, protecting taxpayer money is a matter we take extremely seriously.”

The case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s branch office in Bay City.

The discovery of Scheall preparing fraudulent and false tax returns was first reported in The Arenac County Independent on March 12, 2008.

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