Former judge sent to prison

A former municipal judge in the Pickens County town of Central has been sent to federal prison for two years for one-half million dollars worth of tax fraud. The sentence meted out by Federal Judge Tim Cain to Janet H. Reese, 48, also requires Reese to make $472 thousand in restitution. According to an announcement from the office of U-S Attorney Bill Nettles, in the capacity of her tax preparation business, Reese during tax year 2008 prepared and filed multiple returns for people and claimed the First Time Homebuyer Credit on the returns. The taxpayers had never informed Reese that they had purchased a home and, in fact, had not purchased a home. Reese had the refunds from the credits electronically deposited into an account she controlled. This prevented taxpayers from discovering that Reese had included false information on their returns. Law enforcement estimates that Reese’s fraudulent activity caused the U-S Treasury to issue nearly $500 thousand in improper refunds. Jeannine Hammett, special agent-in-charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, said, “Return preparers who concoct schemes to steal public money face federal prosecution and federal prison. Individuals cannot fraudulently enrich their bank accounts at the expense of the United States Treasury and other taxpayers….”