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Owner of Liberty Tax Franchises Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Steal from the State

March 17th, 2017 by WCBC Radio

Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh and Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced Vanessa Kone, owner of four Liberty Tax Service franchises and operator of six stores in Baltimore City, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Steal from the State.  Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Alfred Nance sentenced Kone to five years incarceration, all suspended, three years supervised probation, and ordered $38,041 in full restitution and a $10,000 penalty. 

 

In addition to Kone, eight of her former employees also pleaded guilty to taking part in the fraudulent tax scheme.  Under Kone’s direction, the managers and preparers in the stores prepared and filed fraudulent federal and state income tax returns, claiming income tax refunds in the names of unwitting taxpayers.  As part of the scheme, they claimed the taxpayers earned just enough money from miscellaneous sources to qualify for the maximum earned income tax credit.  In fact, none of the taxpayers earned any income, often having been homeless, in drug rehabilitation programs, or disabled. 

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