HAMMOND | A local tax preparer received an 18-month federal prison sentence Thursday.
Charles Standifer, 37, of Gary, pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of a false and fraudulent tax returns, according to court records.
Standifer, who admitted to falsifying more than $12,500 in claims, was indicted with three fellow employees of Quick Sam Tax Refund, 3812 Broadway, Gary.
Also charged in the indictment were Chanel Bandy, 34, of Merrillville, Britney Walker-Lipsey, 32, of East Chicago, and Rhonda Murphy, 37, of Gary. Each person was charged with four counts of willfully aiding or assisting in preparing false income tax returns.
The indictment stated the defendants completed tax returns for customers listing inflated annual incomes and other expenses and captured tax credits for people who may not have been eligible to receive them.
In the 2009 and 2010 tax years, the defendants prepared returns for which taxpayers received an average of between $4,000 and $5,000.
Walker-Lipsey, who pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of a false and fraudulent tax return, was sentenced in August 2012 to 18 months of home detention, court records stated. Bandy pleaded guilty to two counts in October 2011 and awaits sentencing. No plea has been entered in Murphy's case.
The case, resulting in a 17-count indictment involving alleged tax fraud in excess of $202,000, was filed as a result of an Internal Revenue Service investigation.