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Former IRS Employee Got Her Day in Court. Now She's Heading to Prison.
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By Bill McEwen, News Director
Published 1 year ago on
January 28, 2023

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Accused of wire and tax fraud, as well as identity theft, Deena Vang Lee of Fresno wanted her day in federal court.

The former IRS employee got three days actually, and the jury found her guilty on more than a dozen counts Thursday.

“The jury found that this defendant who operated a tax preparation business willfully prepared and filed tax returns for her clients that were false and underreported her own taxable income,” said U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert in a news release. “Her scheme to use the tax system to generate larger refunds than deserved came to an end.”

Lee, 41, is scheduled for sentencing on May 8 by U.S. District Judge Ana de Alba.

Tax Returns Included Fake Deductions

According to evidence presented at trial, from 2012 through 2016, Lee prepared tax returns for a fee for friends, family, and other acquaintances that falsely claimed thousands of dollars in tax credits for education and childcare expenses. Lee also submitted fraudulent tax returns on her own behalf, failing to report the income from her business.

A federal grand jury indicted her on 18 counts in April 2019.

“Taxpayers put trust in tax preparers to prepare their tax returns in accordance with the law. It is unacceptable for tax preparers to break this confidence by submitting fraudulent returns in their clients’ names,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alex Dempsey and Henry Carbajal are the prosecutors.

 

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Bill McEwen,
News Director
Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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