MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A Montgomery woman has been found guilty on 10 counts of filing false tax returns, according to the U.S Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Alabama.
U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin Sr. said 39-year-old Laquanda Gilmore Garrott prepared more than 1,500 tax returns for clients just between 2014-2015 and pulled in more than $370,000 in tax preparation fees during that time frame.
But things began to unravel when an investigation was opened. At trial, a federal jury heard evidence that Garrott artificially inflated her clients’ tax refunds, which increased her own fees.
Investigators said from 2011 through 2015, Garrott ran her business, L&G Associates, LLC., out of a shopping center off the Southern Boulevard. There, she falsified returns, going so far as to claim claim in one filing that a client lost $30,000 on a non-existent side lawn business. The filing helped Garrott offset her client’s taxable income, allowing them to appear eligible for a refund through the Earned Income Tax Credit.
“Filing false tax returns is not only a crime against the government, it is also a crime against each American taxpayer,” Franklin said. “Ms. Garrott removed hard-earned tax dollars from the public coffers for her own profit. My office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to identify tax cheats and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”
Garrott faces up to 3 years in federal prison on each count, substantial fines, and an order of restitution. The federal prison system does not have parole.