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Feds in Baton Rouge charge five in alleged tax fraud

When a person is accused of committing a crime, several thoughts go through their head. Often times, they consider how to devise a defense against the allegations in order to show their innocence. The seriousness of the criminal charges could mean a lengthy investigation dealing with evidence, witnesses and, in some cases, co-defendants.

U.S. Attorneys in Baton Rouge recently indicted five people on charges that they filed fraudulent tax returns with stolen identifying information in efforts to enrich themselves. Altogether, the five allegedly filed more than 1,000 false tax returns and collected more than $1.4 million in tax returns that should not have belonged to them.

News reports did not make it clear whether prosecutors believe the five individuals worked together, but all five cases have similar allegations. In each case, prosecutors say the individual used stolen identifying information, including different Social Security numbers, and used them to file numerous fraudulent tax returns. According to prosecutors, the accused then collected tax refunds from those returns. Prosecutors said one of the accused filed as many as 488 of these fraudulent returns. The five face a multitude of charges that could carry penalties of up to 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine.

It's important to remember that all those accused of tax fraud, embezzlement and other white collar crimes in Louisiana are entitled to a defense. However, building a defense in one of these cases can be very demanding. Prosecutors will be armed with experts who can examine all the complicated evidence and interpret it in a way that supports convicting the accused. The defendants must have a defense team that can bring the same level of expertise to the evidence and support an acquittal.

Louisiana residents accused of fraud, embezzlement and other white collar crimes need help from qualified professionals who understand the special needs of their cases. Only then can they build the kind of defense they need against these serious charges.

Source: NOLA.com, "U.S. Attorney's Office charge five women in Baton Rouge area on tax, identity fraud schemes," Quincy Hodges, Sep. 16, 2013

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