Father Doesn’t Always Know Best  

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A clock with tax time sticky note and calculator on the desk.

Ezra Hatcher Sr., of Augusta, Ga., and his daughter, Sherry Hatcher, have confessed to filing fraudulent inflated tax returns on behalf of their clients. (Fathers should teach their daughters many things, but how to commit fraud is definitely not one of them.)

An Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investigation uncovered that the Hatchers filed 21 tax returns on behalf of seven individuals between 2014 and 2018. (They did so knowing that the returns included false and fraudulent information regarding Schedule C expenses, income and earned income credits.)

The illegal tax returns cause the IRS to issue refunds of nearly $75,000 for the 21 tax returns. (There’s no doubt that everyone would like to receive a larger refund, but fraud is not the way to go.)

Ezra Hatcher pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States. His daughter pleaded guilty to aiding and assisting in the filing of a false tax return. (Let’s hope that she has learned that her father doesn’t always know best.)

Ezra Hatcher faces up to five years in prison and will pay restitution in the amount of $69,682. Sherry Hatcher is looking at up to three years in prison and will be required to pay $4,141 in restitution.

Both defendants are permanently prohibited from preparing or filing tax returns on behalf of another person. (That’s the best decision ever. They absolutely should NOT be allowed to file tax returns for anyone ever again.)

Today’s Fraud of the day comes from the Department of Justice press release “Father, daughter tax preparers admit income tax filing fraud,” published on April 25, 2022.

AUGUSTA, GA:  An Augusta man and his daughter await sentencing after admitting they filed fraudulently inflated tax returns on behalf of clients.

Ezra Hatcher Sr., 68, and Sherry Hatcher, 42, both of Augusta, pled guilty in U.S. District Court in advance of a trial scheduled for U.S. District Court, said David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. Ezra Hatcher pled guilty to Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, while Sherry Hatcher pled guilty to Aiding and Assisting in the Filing of a False Tax Return.

 

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.