Thursday, September 21, 2006

Federal grand jury indicts Oronogo woman

A federal grand jury in Springfield today indicted Carrie A. Shafer, 38, Oronogo, on 40 counts of tax fraud.
Ms. Shafer is charged with preparing fraudulent income tax returns for customers during 2003 and 2004.
The indictment comes 17 months after a federal judge ordered Ms. Shafer to stop preparing tax returns.
According to court documents filed in 2005, Ms. Shafer had been preparing tax returns full-time since 2002, with most of her customers living in Missouri, though she had some in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
"Since at least September 2003, Shafer has been preparing original and amended federal income tax returns for tax years 2000-2003 that claim fictitious or inflated itemized deductions for various expenses, including medical and dental expenses, charitable contributions, and unreimbursed employee business expenses."
With one customers, court documents said, "Shafer also claimed an inflated child-care expense credit based on child-care services that Shafer knew had never actually been provided to, or paid for by, the customer."
Because of these and other machinations, court documents indicate, Ms. Shafer's customers received tax refunds to which they were not entitled.
"In addition to preparing fraudulent tax returns, Shafer has encouraged at least one of her customers to provide false information to the IRS at an examination meeting," the court documents said.

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