Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Feds Come After Redding Couple for Alleged Tax Scam


A Redding couple faces felony charges for running a tax-return scheme and claiming more than $159,000 in false refunds.

A federal criminal complaint accuses Shannon Elaine Ford, 32, and Michael Joseph Ford, 31, of operating a tax return preparation business and recruiting taxpayers, promising them large returns, a news release from acting U.S. Attorney Lawrence G. Brown's office states.

The couple allegedly filed more than 34 tax returns using false tax forms relating to income from nonexistent small businesses. The couple also misdirected federal and state tax return checks to their own bank and credit union accounts, the complaint alleges.

The fraudulent tax returns claimed more than $159,000 in false refunds.

The Fords allegedly ran the scam, which involved more than 20 victims, from March 2004 to March 2007.

Shannon Ford is charged with conspiracy, 34 counts of filing false tax returns, 17 counts of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Michael Ford is charged with conspiracy, five counts of filing false tax returns and seven counts of bank fraud, the release states.

The couple was scheduled to appear Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dale A. Drozd.

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