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Maryland Tax Preparer Indicted for Preparing False Tax Returns

GREENBELT, Md. – A federal grand jury in Greenbelt, Maryland, returned an indictment today charging Temple Hills tax return preparer Anita Fortune, age 56, with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and thirty-nine counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division; and Special Agent in Charge Kelly R. Jackson of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office.

According to the indictment, Anita Fortune used multiple names for her tax preparation business, including Tax Terminatorz, Inc.  For the tax years 2012 to 2018, Fortune, along with two co-conspirators, allegedly added fictitious or inflated itemized deductions and business losses to clients’ electronically filed federal income tax returns.  The indictment further alleges that although the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) revoked Fortune’s e-file privileges, Fortune continued to prepare tax returns for her clients by filing the returns using her co-conspirators’ business and personal identifiers.  Fortune allegedly provided money and office space in exchange for the use of her co-conspirators’ information.

If convicted, Fortune faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison for the conspiracy count and 3 years for each false return count.  Fortune also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed.  The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

U.S. Attorney Hur and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman commended IRS-Criminal Investigation for its work in the investigation, and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah Grossi and Trial Attorney Kathryn Sparks of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case.

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