2 local women arrested on tax fraud charges

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Two Charleston women have been arrested, accused of tax scams.

DonCella Octivia Bennett, 26, and Mary Ann Campbell, 49, were arrested Tuesday on different counts of forgery and assisting in the preparation of a false return.

According to the South Carolina Department of Revenue, during 2009 and 2010, Doncella Octivia Bennett, of Mt. Pleasant, presented W2 forms from Coastal Franchising, LLC to a Charleston tax service in order to have her 2008 and 2009 income tax returns prepared and submitted electronically. Officials with the SCDOR say Bennett's 2009 and 2010 W2 forms stated that she had SC withholding taxes of $592.00 and $697.32, respectively, but evidence obtained from Coastal Franchising, LLC suggests she did not work there in 2009. The SCDOR says her SC withholding taxes were actually $3.20 for the following year.

Bennett is facing up to $1000 in fines and/or 20 years in prison if convicted of the four charges.

Mary Ann Campbell, 49, is accused of one count of forgery and one count of assisting in the preparation of a fraudulent tax return. In 2010, Campbell presented a 2009 W2 form to a tax service in order to have her income tax returns prepared. The W2 form indicated that Campbell was employed by Coastal Franchising, LLC, but officials with the SCDOR say evidence obtained from the employer revealed that she did not actually work there. The SCDOR says use of the fraudulent tax return resulted in Campbell claiming and receiving a state tax refund in the amount of $697.00 to which she was not entitled.

If found guilty, Campbell could face up to 15 years in prison and/or $500 in fines if found guilty of the two tax charges.

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