Alabama tax preparer indicted on charges of filing bogus tax returns

Published 5:17 pm Wednesday, June 24, 2020

A federal grand jury returned an indictment this week charging an Alabama return preparer with one count of filing a false personal tax return and seventeen counts of preparing false tax returns for others, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town for the Northern District of Alabama and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge James Dorsey.

According to the indictment, Shuntan Renee Rue owned and operated Rue Tax Service, a tax return preparation business located in Birmingham, Alabama. From at least 2014 to 2016, Rue allegedly prepared false income tax returns on behalf of her clients. The indictment alleges that Rue falsified clients’ returns by reporting fictitious business income and expenses as well as false medical expenses, charitable gifts, and unreimbursed employee expenses. The indictment further alleges that Rue falsely reported education expenses on clients’ returns and on her own 2013 tax return.

“Tax preparers are held to a higher standard because of their position with the public trust,” Town said. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office along with IRS-Criminal Investigations will continue to aggressively pursue those who attempt to defraud the American tax system, American taxpayers, and the American treasury.”

“This indictment should serve as a warning to any tax return preparer considering exploiting their clients for profit: you will be caught, you will be prosecuted, and you will pay a steep price for your actions,” said James E. Dorsey, Special Agent in Charge IRS Criminal Investigation, Atlanta Field Office. “Tax return preparers who purposely prepare false tax returns to get higher refunds are stealing directly from American taxpayers and today’s indictment shows IRS-CI, in concert with the Department of Justice, is committed to aggressively pursuing unscrupulous tax professionals that prey on the public.”

If convicted, Rue faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison for each count. Rue also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.