Two sisters in Georgia declared innocent of committing tax fraud

Two sisters in Georgia could have been required to serve a lengthy prison sentence for tax fraud if their brother did not plead guilty to the offense.

Recently, after stealing the private tax records of over 1,000 people, a man in Georgia pleaded guilty to tax refund fraud. Because the man pleaded guilty, the criminal charges brought up against his two sisters were dropped, states WSB-TV 2. If the charges made against these two women had resulted in a conviction, they could have been sentenced to a cumulative prison term of over 700 years.

The impact of the charges

According to WSB-TV 2, during the course of the investigation, one of the sisters suffered from a stroke and the other spent several months in jail without bond. Despite the difficulties the sisters experienced, they reported that they still loved their brother, who now has to serve a 12-year prison sentence, and believe that he did the right thing by pleading guilty to this offense.

Additionally, the sisters complained that the prosecutors charged them with tax fraud in order to get to their brother and that they knew nothing about their brother's fraudulent activities. However, prosecutors on the case said that although the charges brought up against the sisters were dropped, they were not entirely convinced of their innocence.

What the fraud investigation process entails

If the Internal Revenue Service suspects that tax fraud has been committed, they will follow a process that includes the following steps:

  • Special agents analyze information collected from the public, an auditor or revenue officer.
  • Various investigative techniques, such as interviewing third-party witnesses, are employed.
  • If the information collected indicates criminal activity has occurred, the case moves to prosecution.

The IRS states that an investigation may be prompted if a person experiences a substantial increase in his or her net worth, bank deposits are made from unexplained sources into a person's account that exceed the amount of income he or she reports on his or her taxes or if tax documents appear to be altered or false.

The penalties for tax fraud are severe

The penalties for tax fraud include fines and prison time. According to the IRS, if a person is found guilty of committing some form of tax fraud, he or she may face anywhere from one to five years in prison and be fined up to $250,000.

In addition to these penalties, those in Georgia convicted of committing tax fraud may find that their reputation within their local community is harmed and may also have difficulties finding employment, obtaining a loan and acquiring higher education opportunities. If you were charged for participating in fraudulent tax activities, consult with an attorney to find out what your legal rights are.

Keywords: fraud, criminal, charges