Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Alabama Woman Pleads Guilty to Filing False Tax Refund Claims
WASHINGTON – Melinda M. Lambert, a resident of Montgomery County, Ala., pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and assisting the filing of a false tax return, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. Lambert pleaded guilty before federal Chief Magistrate Judge Susan Russ Walker in the U.S. District Court in Montgomery, Ala.
According to the court documents, Lambert was employed as a tax return preparer at Flash Tax, a tax return preparation business, from December 2004 through January 2007. During her employment at Flash Tax, Lambert prepared and filed at least approximately 400 tax returns in 2005 and 2006 and 100 tax returns in 2007. The majority of these tax returns were false. Lambert admitted that she manipulated refund amounts on clients’ tax returns by inflating or deflating specific number and/or by adding totally fictitious numbers to the return. The false returns she prepared resulted in the IRS dispersing approximately $900,000 in false tax refunds that her clients were not entitled to receive.
Lambert faces a maximum of three years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
The case was investigated by the IRS – Criminal Investigation and is being prosecuted by Tax Division Trial Attorneys Charles M. Edgar Jr. and Michael Boteler.