DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Tax fraud turned out to be a family affair for a Detroit mother and her son.
Valerie Butler, 48, and Garry Young Jr., 25, were sentenced to federal prison this week after pleading guilty to conspiracy to obtain payment of a claim against the U.S. government for their roles in a $1 million tax scheme.
The government said the mother and son duo filed 299 false tax returns in 2009 and 2010 in amounts greater than the taxpayer was entitled to receive, and had the refunds deposited into their bank accounts. Court documents show several of the returns were filed in the names of dead people.
Prosecutors say Butler and Young attempted to hide their involvement in the filing of the tax returns by failing to sign the return as the preparer.
Butler and Young split the refund money with some of the taxpayers, but prosecutors said most taxpayers never received any of the refund.
Butler was sentenced to 18 months in prison while Young got a year and a day. Butler’s sentence from Detroit federal Judge Avern Cohn was well below the guidelines, officials said, because she shared information with agents who’ve been investigating other participants in the fraud.
Butler and Young were also ordered to pay $1.1 million in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.
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