AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A father and daughter from Augusta are being charged in a 49-count federal indictment for filing fraudulently inflated tax returns on behalf of clients.
40 -year-old Sherry Hatcher and her father, 60-year-old Ezra Hatcher were indicted to in U.S. District Court for Conspiracy to Defraud the United States. Ezra has also been charged with 31 counts of Aiding and Assisting in the Filing of false Tax Returns. Sherry is charged with 17 counts of Aiding and Assisting in the Filing of False Tax Returns.
They were arraigned Wednesday, October 28, in U.S. District Court and were each granted $25,000 unsecured bonds. Magistrate Judge Brian K. Epps has prohibited them from engaging in any business or fiduciary capacity without disclosing the indictment and nature of the allegations as a special condition of their release.
U.S. Attorney Christine said, “The security of our national budget process depends on honest compliance with tax laws, which is a core responsibility of those who provide assistance in filing tax returns. With the assistance of the IRS and our law enforcement partners, we will aggressively pursue those who attempt to defraud the system for their personal benefit.”
The IRS conducted audits of tax preparation services handled by Ezra and Sherry Hatcher. From 2014-2018 the two companied filed 57 tax returns for 15 people “knowing the returns contained false and fraudulent information relating to Schedule C expenses, income, and earned income credits.” The returns caused the IRS to issue excess refunds in the amount of $167,08.
IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge James E. Dorsey said, “The public trusts tax return preparers to properly prepare, review, and file their tax returns. These charges allege the tax return preparers broke this trust. Always ask to review your return line by line and ask questions if you don’t understand something. Trust but verify.”