May 16, 2021

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Hampton Roads Tax Preparer Sentenced for Fraud | USAO-EDVA

NORFOLK, VA. – A Norfolk woman was sentenced today to 33 months in prison for cable fraud and participated in the preparation of over 30 fraudulent income tax returns while co-owner of a multi-office tax preparation service in Hampton Street area.

“As the evidence at the trial showed, the defendant repeatedly violated her trustworthy position as a tax advisor and ran a business that relied on misleading and duplicate practices to get rich,” said Raj Parekh, acting US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia . “Tax fraud programs are serious crimes that deprive our communities of resources, and those who engage in this behavior are held accountable in the computer system.”

According to court documents and evidence presented in court, Nikia Tull, 44, was the co-owner, operator and manager of YT Phoenix Enterprises, Inc., also known as Phoenix Financial Tax Service, a tax preparation service based in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Suffolk. Between 2014 and 2018, Tull was deliberately involved in preparing and filing 33 federal income tax returns that contained numerous false and fraudulent items. In 2019, Tull continued its scam by filing fake and fraudulently altered bank statements with a private lending company to aid loan applications for $ 70,000.

According to court records, Tull has included a number of false and fraudulent items on its clients’ income tax returns without their knowledge or consent. Some of the fraudulent items Tull contained were household energy loans, unreimbursed employee expenses, charitable donations, and business losses. Tull charged their customers the number of separate forms submitted with each return so they could charge more for themselves by including the wrong items and amounts. As a result of Tull’s fraudulent behavior, the IRS suffered a total loss of approximately $ 230,000.

In addition to scamming the IRS, Tull also developed a wire fraud program targeting a small business lender in which she submitted materially inaccurate and fraudulently altered bank statements to support online applications for $ 20,000 and $ 50,000 for her business .

After a seven-day trial, a federal jury convicted Tull on November 12, 2020, of five wire fraud cases and 33 cases of assistance and assistance in preparing false and fraudulent income tax returns. As part of her conviction today, Tull was ordered to pay a refund of $ 162,460.

Raj Parekh, acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Darrell J. Waldon, Washington, DC field office’s special officer in charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), said so after the senior U.S. district’s conviction known judge Robert G. Doumar.

US assistant attorneys Daniel P. Shean and Joseph L. Kosky are pursuing the case.

A copy of this press release is available on the website of US law firm for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or further PACEMAKER by finding Case # 2: 20-cr-9.