N. Charleston woman sentenced for tax fraud

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A North Charleston woman was sentenced in federal court on Friday for fraudulent tax preparation, said United States Attorney Bill Nettles.

Latasha Failey, 30, was sentenced to 12 months in prison and one year of supervised release.

Nettles said Failey owned and operated Failey's Tax Service, a tax preparation business in North Charleston. She caught the attention of the IRS after a fraud detection center identified suspicious deductions on the tax returns she prepared, Nettles said.

A search warrant was executed at her business in March of 2011 and her client files were seized, Nettles said.

The IRS identified at least 145 false tax returns prepared by Failey and her employees from 2009-2011, Nettles said. The fraudulent tax returns cost the U.S. Treasury a loss of about $500,000 in taxes.

"During tax filing season, return prepares and taxpayers should be aware of the serious consequences facing those who aid or assist in the filing of fraudulent tax returns," said Special Agent-in-Charge Jeannine A. Hammett with the IRS criminal investigation. "Those who fly in the face of the tax laws face investigation, prosecution, and if convicted, significant prison sentences and substantial fines. Today's sentence sends a strong message to unscrupulous return prepares who think they can get away with tampering with our nation's tax system."

Assistant United States Attorney Rhett DeHart of the Charleston office prosecuted the case.

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