Galloway tax preparer allegedly filed false returns for self, clients

A Galloway Township tax preparer allegedly filed false tax returns for herself and clients.
Michele Griffin, 40, who also lived in Egg Harbor Township and Pleasantville, was arrested Friday on a 19-count federal indictment, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
She was set to be arraigned via video conference in federal court Friday.
Griffin allegedly prepared multiple fraudulent tax returns on behalf of her clients by falsifying their education expenses, dependent care expenses, business income, dependent information and unemployment income.
As a result, her clients’ returns requested higher tax credits and higher refunds than the clients were entitled to receive, according to the indictment.
The alleged fraud was in 19 tax returns for six clients from 2013 through 2016.
Griffin received substantial income by preparing tax returns for others that she failed to report on her own tax returns, the charges claim.
Griffin also allegedly included false education expenses on her own tax returns, which led her to request higher education credits and a higher refund than she was entitled to receive.
She also allegedly filed three false tax returns for herself for 2013 through 2015.
Each count carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Carpenito credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez in Newark, with the investigation leading to the charges.