POSTED: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 - 4:21pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 - 4:22pm
Beaumont, Texas (KETK) — A Dallas tax preparer has been indicted for federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.
Shannon Tecoko Mays, 36, of Dallas, was indicted today by a federal grand jury charging him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
According to prosecutors, an investigation began in August 2012 in response to numerous complaints to state and federal authorities from citizens in Port Arthur, Anahuac, Nacogdoches and Lufkin, Texas regarding income tax returns that were being fraudulently prepared on their behalf. During the investigation, it was discovered that Mays was operating numerous offices across the United States under the name “Syam Tax Services, L.L.C.” and “Baby Momma Tax.” Although the principal office was located in Dallas, Mays also operated or sought to operate satellite offices in numerous other locations, including Fort Worth, Houston, New Orleans, Memphis, Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles.
The indictment alleges that Mays targeted individuals who were generally exempt from having to file income tax returns because they would be less likely to discover a fraudulent tax return had been filed on their behalf. To further facilitate the scheme, Mays employed “recruiters,” paying them from $50-100 for every client they successfully brought into Syam Tax. In order to avoid detection, Mays altered the taxpayer’s address and phone numbers on the returns so that any phone calls or correspondence from the IRS would not reach the taxpayer. The scheme also used electronic deposits to ensure paper checks would not be mailed to the taxpayer.
For the tax year 2011, Mays filed 4,226 tax returns claiming approximately $3,150,406. If convicted, Mays faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
This case is being investigated by Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Port Arthur Police Department, the Texas Attorney General’s Office – Consumer Protection Division, and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Baylor Wortham.
It is important to note that a grand jury indictment is not evidence of guilt.