Date: January 4, 2023 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org A Texas return preparer pleaded guilty to engaging in a multi-year conspiracy to prepare and file false tax returns on behalf of clients and obtaining a fraudulent loan under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The proceeding was held before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey C. Manske. According to court documents and statements made in court, between 2012 and 2017 Labanda Loyd, of Waco, managed two tax return preparation businesses and also worked as a return preparer. Loyd conspired with others at both businesses to prepare and file false returns that fraudulently claimed refunds the clients were not entitled to receive. As a manager, Loyd personally instructed some of her co-conspirators how to prepare false tax returns. For some clients, Loyd and her co-conspirators completely fabricated wage and tax withholdings. For others, they altered the wages and withholdings legitimately reported to the IRS by their employers. Loyd's co-conspirators include Lashamekwa Alexander, Deidra Brandon, Melissa Johnson, Shaterian Parr, Jaleesia Sais, and Tevin Thompson, all of whom have pleaded guilty to the tax conspiracy or other crimes. In all, the co-conspirators caused a tax loss exceeding $1.8 million. Loyd also pleaded guilty to wire fraud stemming from her false application in 2021 for a PPP loan. On the application, Loyd falsified her business's actual gross income and included false documents to corroborate the fabricated income. As a result, Loyd received approximately $18,000 in PPP funds. Loyd faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for the conspiracy charge and twenty years in prison for wire fraud. She and her co-conspirators are all scheduled to be sentenced on March 15, 2023. A federal district court judge will determine any sentences after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart Goldberg of the Justice Department's Tax Division made the announcement. IRS-Criminal Investigation is investigating the case. Trial Attorneys Patrick Elwell, Matthew Hicks, and Wilson Stamm of the Tax Division are prosecuting the case.