Federal judge hands down 30-month prison sentence to Charlotte area tax return preparer convicted of filing false income tax returns


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Date: March 25, 2021

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

CHARLOTTE, NC — U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. sentenced late yesterday former tax return preparer, Aminta Smith of Charlotte, to 30 months in prison, followed by one year of supervised release, announced William T. Stetzer, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Judge Cogburn also ordered Smith to pay $171,017 as restitution. In May 2019, a federal jury convicted Smith of filing false tax returns for her clients and herself.

Brian G. Thomas, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI), Charlotte Field Office, joins Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer in making today's announcement.

According to the sentencing hearing, court documents and evidence presented at trial, Smith owned and operated a Charlotte-based tax preparation business, Touch by Angels Tax Services, also known as Touch by Angels Accounting Services and Smith Tax & Insurance Group, LLC. According to court records, between 2011 to 2016, Smith prepared fraudulent income tax returns for clients that claimed false education credits, false W-2 wages, and false Schedule C businesses to inflate the refunds paid by the IRS. In addition to filing fraudulent income tax returns for her clients, Smith falsified her own income tax returns by underreporting the fees she earned in her tax preparation business for tax years 2011 to 2015, and in some years failing to disclose that she was in engaged in the operation of a tax preparation business. In total, Smith caused more than $1 million in tax loss to the IRS.

In May 2019, a federal jury convicted Smith of aiding and assisting in the filing of false tax returns and filing false tax returns for herself. Following the sentencing hearing, Smith was released on bond and will be ordered to report to the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.

In making today's announcement Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation for their investigation of the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Caryn Finley of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case. Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer also thanked the Department of Justice's Tax Division for their invaluable assistance in this case.