Suffolk man sentenced for $1.6 million tax return fraud

NORFOLK, Va. – A Suffolk man was sentenced Thursday to 40 months in prison for his role in a fraud scheme that prepared hundreds of false tax returns that resulted in a loss of approximately $1.6 million to the United States, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Kevin Towns, 44, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and preparing false tax returns on June 7. Court documents say Towns was one of the principal tax preparers at A Plus Tax Service and NN Financial, which operated as tax preparation businesses at different periods between July 2009 and February 2014.

Towns, along with co-defendants Stephanie Towns and Brenda Benn, conspired to operate a business based on creating false tax returns that generated inflated refunds for their clients in order to cultivate good will and generate repeat business. They used methods such as claiming false education-related expenses, stating excessively high amounts of charitable contributions and manipulating the amount of income to take advantage of certain tax credits.

The customers did not persuade or instruct the tax preparers to generate the false returns.