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Alton tax preparer gets prison for $1 million worth of fraud

From Illinois Business Journal news services

EAST ST. LOUIS – An Alton tax preparer tripped up by undercover agents was sentenced to prison this week for falsifying more than $1 million in tax documents.

Aisha Wright, 33, was sentenced to serve 46 months in federal prison, followed by three years’ supervised release, as a result of her convictions for two counts of making false claims against the United States, Stephen R. Wigginton, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, said Thursday.

Wright operated A W Mobile Taxes, in Alton. Potential fraud was detected by the Scheme Development Center of the Internal Revenue Service. Two undercover agents went to Wright to have their tax returns prepared, and Wright prepared fraudulent returns for each of them, Wigginton said.

Further investigation revealed that Wright was systematically preparing false returns for taxpayers that falsified Schedule A deductions, Schedule C self-employment income, and falsified education expenses for receipt of the education tax credit.

The court determined that over a three-year period Wright filed 492 federal income tax returns that caused a total actual loss to the United States in excess of $1 million. Wright was ordered, as part of her sentence, to pay restitution in the amount of $1,052,302.86. She was also ordered to serve 450 hours of community service as a condition of supervised release, following her release from prison.

The investigation was conducted by the IRS/Criminal Investigations, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Secret Service, and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman R. Smith.


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