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Tax return preparer pleads guilty to fraud

Photo by SuperTalk Mississippi News

A Mississippi woman has entered a guilty plea for ten years of tax fraud.

According to a news release, Teresa C. Chism, a former resident of Durant, pled guilty to preparing and filing a fraudulent claim for a tax refund with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). 

Court documents and court testimony show that from 2005 through 2015, Chism operated tax return preparation businesses in Mississippi named ‘Mo’ Money, MoneyCo USA, and Lady T Taxes’.  

While operating those businesses, Chism falsified her clients’ returns in different ways in order to increase their tax refunds, including reporting false wages, false self-employment income and expenses, and false education credits.  

In total, Chism prepared more than 550 false tax returns, seeking over $3.5 million in fraudulent tax refunds.  The IRS paid at least $3.2 million in refunds on these bogus claims.  Chism also did not file individual tax returns or pay taxes on her own income for 2013-2015, despite earning more than $100,000 during those years. 

Chism faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison. She will be sentenced in November, and she could also be ordered to pay restitution and monetary penalties.

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