Sheila Anderson-Cloude, 33, of Nottingham, and Tonia Patrice Lawson, 42, of Essex, have been accused of filing fraudulent tax returns, conspiring to defraud the government, theft of public money and making false statements.
Anderson-Cloude faces an additional two years in prison if she is convicted on identity theft charges.
The indictment claims that both Anderson-Cloude and Lawson allegedly obtained identifying information from taxpayers in order to file the fraudulent returns.
In some instances, the two women allegedly had taxpayers file falsified income tax returns in order to collect on higher refunds.
“The IRS continues to work closely with the tax preparation industry to protect the American public. Return preparer fraud is a priority for IRS Criminal Investigation and we have committed many resources to investigating cases just like these. Taxpayers should be very selective in choosing a return preparer, and have confidence knowing that person will prepare accurate tax returns and safeguard their financial information,” reads a statement from Thomas J. Kelly, IRS special agent in charge of this investigation.
Anderson-Cloude allegedly filed at least 13 false federal tax returns between February 2010 and February 2012, resulting in seven tax refunds totaling more than $15,000. Lawson received four tax refunds totaling $16,979 and allegedly made payments to some of her clients using money she had obtained illegally.