Lithonia man, three others sentenced in $2M tax scheme

Curry Anthony Love Jr. of Lithonia is one of four men sentenced in a scheme to claim more than $2 million in fraudulent tax refunds using bogus Form 1099s.

Curry Anthony Love Jr. of Lithonia is one of four men sentenced in a scheme to claim more than $2 million in fraudulent tax refunds using bogus Form 1099s.

Love, Sean Demetrius West, Darrel Asquith Palmes and Emory Leon Harris Jr. were also ordered to pay more than $1.7 million in restitution.

Love, 51, got a year and a day in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $435,990 in restitution. 

Love pleaded guilty to making a false statement in a federal income tax return on Nov. 2, 2017. 

West, 44, of Conyers was sentenced to 18 months of home confinement and ordered to pay $435,990 in restitution. West pleaded guilty to interference with the administration of IRS laws on July 27, 2016. 

Palmes, 71, and Harris, 33, were previously sentenced for their roles in the scheme. 

Palmes, of Lake Worth, Fla., was sentenced to one year in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release. He was ordered to pay $435,990 in restitution on March 1, 2018. He pleaded guilty to interference with the administration of IRS laws on July 24, 2017.

Harris of Atlanta was sentenced to two years in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release. He was ordered to pay $435,990 in restitution on Oct. 24, 2016. He pleaded guilty to interference with the administration of IRS laws on July, 26, 2016. 

U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJ” Pak  said the case is a reminder that the government will identify and prosecute individuals who file fraudulent tax returns.

“When caught, you are facing a felony conviction, prison, and a judgment for the amount stolen from the Treasury,” Pak said.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, and Thomas J. Holloman, Special Agent in Charge. They work vigorously to stop the issuance of these fraudulent tax refunds based on bogus 1099 forms.

"The criminals are inventing new ways to circumvent the system and the sentencings handed down in this investigation show the stiff penalties for doing so,” he said.

According to Pak, the charges and other information presented in court, West and Love, along with Harris, the organizer of the scheme, recruited taxpayers to file tax returns using bogus 1099s claiming a total of $2,688,591 in fraudulent refunds. 

Harris and West introduced Palmes, a tax preparer, to the recruited taxpayers and provided him with fake 1099s and other documents to prepare the fraudulent returns. 

The forms listed fictitious employers for the taxpayers and claimed hundreds of thousands in withholdings already paid to such employers. The fictitious withholdings resulted in claimed refunds ranging from $134,990 to $1,000,000 for each taxpayer involved. 

Love, who filed his own fraudulent tax return, was the only taxpayer whose return was processed for a refund. 

The IRS identified and rejected six other fraudulent returns.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Michael Pearce prosecuted the case.