Liberty woman sentenced for preparing false tax return


Date: April 15, 2024


Beaumont, TX — A Liberty woman has been sentenced to federal prison for illegally preparing a tax return in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Damien M. Diggs.

Teletshia Elice Randolph pleaded guilty to aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return and was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone on April 15, 2024.

According to information presented in court, in 2019, special agents with the Internal Revenue Service began noticing a pattern of questionable tax forms filed in previous years associated with an IP address which was registered to Randolph. In order to receive payment for preparing or assisting in the preparation of a federal tax return, a person is legally required to have a valid preparer tax identification number (PTIN), and paid preparers must sign and include their PTIN on the return. Not signing a return, commonly known as “ghost preparation,” is often a red flag that a preparer is attempting to avoid detection by the IRS. Randolph did not have a registered PTIN and was suspected of being a “ghost preparer.” Further investigation revealed Randolph was operating an illegal tax preparation business from her residence. Randolph would meet and communicate with clients and obtain the necessary information from them to file their taxes. Randolph would then create fraudulent tax documents indicating the tax filer owned farm equipment and animals and were entitled to deductions they were not. Randolph would then file the tax documents in a way that appeared they were prepared by the actual tax filer. Randolph would keep approximately fifteen percent of each fraudulent tax return. IRS records revealed Randolph filed a total of 542 tax returns on behalf of 282 tax-payer clients for tax years 2016, 2017, and 2018. The IRS estimates the total tax loss for these returns had approached six million dollars.

“Today, many Americans are fulfilling their duties as citizens of our great country and filing their taxes, said U.S. Attorney Damien M. Diggs. “Sadly though, many individuals use the tax filing system to their advantage and unjustly enrich themselves. Teletshia Randolph did just that, by defrauding the government for many years and fraudulently filed taxes for taxpayers for her own benefit. My office is committed to protecting the integrity of the tax filing process and bringing to justice those that manipulate it to their advantage.”

“Randolph is a ghost preparer, someone who is willing to take your money and let you go to prison for filing a fraudulent tax return. She doesn’t sign the tax return because she is not a legitimate tax preparer and she knows the information she used was fraudulent,” said Special Agent in Charge Ramsey E. Covington of IRS Criminal Investigation Houston Field Office. “Our partners at the U.S. Attorney’s Office work closely with us to identify and prosecute tax and other financial crimes. April 15 might be the last day of this tax season, but it’s not the last time financial criminals like her will be sentenced for their crimes.”

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (CI) and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell James.

CI is the criminal investigative arm of the IRS, responsible for conducting financial crime investigations, including tax fraud, narcotics trafficking, money-laundering, public corruption, healthcare fraud, identity theft and more. CI special agents are the only federal law enforcement agents with investigative jurisdiction over violations of the Internal Revenue Code, obtaining a more than a 90 percent federal conviction rate. The agency has 20 field offices located across the U.S. and 12 attaché posts abroad.