Tax preparer in Maricopa County indicted for alleged fraud

Tax preparer in Maricopa County indicted for alleged fraud
Tax Fraud (generic). (Source: WITN)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A tax preparer in Maricopa was indicted by a grand jury back in December 2020 for fabricating fake W-2′s for higher tax refunds.

Michelle Shaefer, a tax preparer and owner of MM Tax Solutions, was accused on charges of Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, four counts of Preparing False Tax Returns and four counts of Forgery for allegedly preparing Arizona personal income tax returns that contained fraudulent information for tax year 2018.

The Arizona Department of Revenue investigated the case with assistance from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

Allegedly, Schaefer operated a scheme in which she knowingly created fictitious W-2s with fabricated Arizona income tax withholdings, to increase tax refunds for herself and three clients.

The investigation revealed that Schaefer used a landscaping company’s business information, without its knowledge or consent, to create the fabricated W-2s.

The revenue department says Schaefer obtained the landscaping company’s information when she prepared its tax returns through MM Tax Solutions. The inclusion of the fraudulent withholding amounts on its tax returns resulted in higher tax refunds.

The Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting the case.

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