Date: May 26, 2022 Contact: email@example.com The owners of a Duncanville tax preparation business were sentenced to a combined five and a half years in federal prison for defrauding the IRS out of more than $3.3 million, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Chad E. Meacham. Valencia Janee Mack and her former husband, Rodney Lamond Bowman pleaded guilty in fall 2021 to conspiracy to defraud the United States. Mr. Bowman was sentenced on May 19 by U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle to 36 months imprisonment; Ms. Mack was sentenced Thursday to 30 months imprisonment. The pair was ordered jointly and severally liable for $210,442 in restitution. "Return preparer fraud is like a contagious disease: It affects not only the preparer, but their own clients and the tax-paying public," said Christopher J. Altemus, Jr., Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Dallas Field Office. "Ms. Mack and Mr. Bowman wreaked havoc on our nation's tax system and, as a result, will serve jail time. I hope this outcome sends a strong message that tampering with the integrity of our tax system will result in jail time." According to court filings, from January 2015 through April 2019, Ms. Mack owned and operated Phase US Tax Services, where she and Mr. Bowman knowingly prepared and filed fraudulent client tax returns with the IRS. The false tax returns reported fictitious Schedule C losses and Schedule A itemized deductions, intended to cause the IRS to pay fraudulent refunds. The false Schedule Cs included purported losses from travel businesses Phase 4 Global (a real business based in Decatur, Alabama) or PlanNet (a real business based in Atlanta, Georgia), to reduce clients' total income and entitle them to larger refunds from the IRS. The clients were not legitimate employees, contractors, or franchisees of Phase 4 Global or PlanNet. Moreover, neither of these entities knew that Mack falsely claimed business expenses associated their companies on client tax returns. Mr. Bowman and Ms. Mack hid the false Schedule C losses that were included on client tax returns by, among other things, omitting relevant pages in the paper copy of the tax returns they provided to clients. Ms. Mack and Mr. Bowman provided fraudulent documentation clients who were being audited by the IRS, including fake mileage logs and other documents that appeared to substantiate the false business expenses in the fraudulent Schedule Cs. The pair instructed their clients to send these fraudulent documents to the IRS. Ms. Mack further admitted that she fraudulently filed her 2014 personal tax return, failing to report any income or expenses from Phase US Tax Services and that she failed to file her personal tax return for tax years 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, despite earning income from Phase US Tax Services. The couple shared in the benefits of the tax fraud by splitting the preparation fees deposited into the Phase US Tax Services business account. The IRS Criminal Investigation's Dallas Field Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Douglas Brasher prosecuted the case.