RICHMOND, Va. – Erik Pittman and Jeremy Blanchard, both 35 and from Memphis, Tennessee, and Corey Taylor, 25, of Richmond, were indicted by a federal grand jury today on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and aiding in the preparation of 19 false and fraudulent U.S. individual tax returns.
According to the indictment, Pittman, Blanchard and Taylor held themselves out as tax preparers for tax year 2011, operating three locations of a business known as Mo’ Money Taxes. The indictment alleges that the three men, along with others, created and inflated fictitious and fraudulent tax credits, including the Earned Income Credit and the American Opportunity credit, to claim tax refunds that customers were not entitled to receive.
If convicted, Pittman could face a maximum penalty of 23 years in prison; Blanchard 29 years; and Taylor 20 years.
It was in early 2012 that complaints started about Mo’ Money.
Those complaints eventually led to lawsuits, a congressional hearing, a visit from the IRS and most recently an indictment of five employees in Missouri for filing false tax credits.
Three of those employees were from Memphis.
Many in Richmond were miffed when they didn’t get their promised tax returns, and found the doors shuttered at the locations.