In a counterpoint to tax-fraud cases that involve hiding income, a federal grand jury has indicted two Durham women who prepared tax returns on charges that they faked some of their clients' incomes so the clients got bigger refunds under the earned income tax credit.
The indictments, handed up Tuesday, accuse Keesha Elayne Frye and Maria Nicole Streater with preparing false tax returns from 2012 through 2014, prosecutors said.
The falsehood was “including fake and inflated sources of income to qualify for and maximize the earned income tax credit, and thereby increase the refunds claimed on the returns,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the state’s Middle District of federal court said in a news release.
The earned income tax credit, which has drawn attention during debate in Washington about how to reform the federal tax system, aids low- and moderate-income wage-earners.
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The prosecutors said the indictments also accused Streater of not reporting income from preparing returns and Frye of claiming false child-care expenses.
Frye owned KEF Professional Tax Services, and Streater worked for her, the news release said. Internet lists say the business is at 3019 Fayetteville St.
Durham tax records show the building, owned by The Famous Chicken Hut of Durham, Inc., with a temporary sign saying Elite Tax Services.
KEP Professional Tax & Credit Services was incorporated as a limited-liability corporation in August 2013 with Frye as the founder and registered agent and Streater as the general manager, according to records kept by the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Office.
The state dissolved the company in January 2016 because it had not filed the required annual reports, the records show.