MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -- Local tax return preparer, Willie C. Grant was sentenced to 60 months in prison for filing false claims for tax refunds. According to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office, he's also been charged with theft of government money and aggravated identity theft.
U.S. District Court Chief Judge C. Ashley Royal also ordered Grant to pay over $200,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. The announcement was made Thursday by the Justice Department and the IRS.
Grant owned and operated a tax return preparation business called Grant Income Tax Bookkeeping and Check Cash out of his home in Macon. Court documents from 2003 through 2008 showed Grant filed false federal income tax returns in the names of deceased individuals, and used many of his former clients' Social Security numbers to file fraudulent returns. He admitted to abusing his position as a professional tax preparer.
U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia Michael Moore said, "When Mr. Grant stole these identities and defrauded the IRS, he victimized not only the people whose names and social security numbers he used, but every tax paying citizen in the United States. My office, with the continued cooperation of our law enforcement partners, will make sure that people like Mr. Grant are held to account for their fraud."
Grant spent the proceeds of his false refund scheme on personal items.