Texas Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty to Defrauding the Internal Revenue Service: | USAO-EDAR

      LITTLE ROCK-A Dallas area tax preparer pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after his participation in a scheme that rerouted more than $11.5 million that was intended to benefit farmers who had been discriminated against. Jerry Green, 40, pleaded guilty today before Chief United States District Judge D. Price Marshall, who will sentence Green at a later date.

      Green admitted preparing at least 82 false tax returns as part of a scheme to defraud the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In 1997, a group of Black farmers filed a class action lawsuit alleging they had been discriminated against when they applied for farm credit, credit servicing, or farm benefits from USDA. A similar lawsuit alleged that Hispanic and women farmers also experienced discrimination in USDA farm benefit programs. Both lawsuits were settled and resulted in a claims process where farmers could make a claim for financial relief by showing they had applied for participation in a USDA benefit program and had been denied. Successful claims resulted in an award of $62,500. Of that, $50,000 would be made payable to the claimant, and $12,500 would be transferred directly to the IRS as a tax withholding.

      Green worked for First Choice Taxes, a tax preparation service. At today’s hearing, Green admitted that he was hired by co-defendant Rosie Bryant to assist with filing false tax returns for Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation claimants. In November 2013, Green opened his own tax preparation business, Jiffy Tax, and met with Rosie Bryant and her sisters, Lynda Charles, Delois Bryant, and Brenda Sherpell, all of whom are now co-defendants in the case. According to statements made at the plea hearing, Green and the four sisters reached an agreement in which Jiffy Tax would prepare fraudulent tax returns for Hispanic Women’s Farmers and Ranchers claimants in exchange for a payment of $550 per fraudulent return. The false returns Green filed totaled $4,615,009.

      Green and his co-defendants were indicted by a federal grand jury in December 2019.  In addition to the charges against Green and the four Bryant sisters, the indictment alleges that Little Rock attorney Everett Martindale also worked for the sisters by depositing claim checks into his law firm trust account, issuing a check from that trust account to the claimant, and withholding his attorney fee—which he would then split with the sisters. The sisters and Martindale are awaiting trial, which is scheduled for February 7, 2022.

      “Today’s guilty plea is the first step towards resolving this complex fraud investigation,” stated Acting United States Attorney Jonathan D. Ross. “We appreciate the work of IRS Criminal Investigation in their efforts to bring this matter to justice.”

      “Today, Mr. Green admitted to using his tax return business, Jiffy Tax, to make a fast buck with a scheme where he conspired with others to prepare false client tax returns,” said IRS-Criminal Investigation Dallas Field Office Acting Special Agent in Charge Mark Pearson.  “Let this be a reminder to others seeking to enrich themselves illegally – IRS-CI will continue to work diligently to identify, investigate and recommend prosecution of abusive return preparers to protect the American tax system.”

      In October 2019, the United States government filed a civil case to forfeit several properties that were purchased using money traceable to the crimes charged in the indictment. The USDA – Office of Inspector General and the IRS, with assistance from the United States Marshals Service and the United States Postal Inspection Service, conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Cameron McCree, Amanda Fields, and Bart Dickinson are prosecuting the case.

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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the

United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, is available online at

https://www.justice.gov/edar

 

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