A former IRS tax preparer was arrested today after being indicted on charges of fraud for falsifying the returns of members of the public and transferring funds earned through fraudulent returns to her personal banking account.
Sherelle Pratt, 49, of Philadelphia, could face up to 33 years in prison for charges of tax fraud and identity theft.
Court papers list her alleged illegal income obtained through fraud as $28,767.95.
According to court documents, Pratt was hired in January 2008 by the IRS.
By April 2009, an individual had reportedly contacted the IRS to complain that his son had not received a his tax refund of $958 from the IRS or his $600 stimulus check.
An investigation showed that Pratt had prepared the return in question and had deposited both of these funds into her personal banking account at TD Bank, court papers say.
During the investigation, the U.S Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration allegedly learned that Pratt had deposited the refund checks and in some cases stimulus checks of eight other people into her personal banking account.
The court papers also mention that while allegedly stealing tax returns, Pratt’s own tax returns did not report the $28,767.95 of income which she obtained through the alleged fraud.
Pratt’s alleged fraud varied from adjusting the gross income of individuals, to including false child and dependent care expenses and fabricating non-existent incomes.
The IRS Criminal Investigation division participated in this case.