Owner of North Carolina Tax Preparation Business Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Defraud the IRS

Herbert Lee Martin owned and operated 'Herb's Helping Hands' where he prepared and filed false federal income tax returns from at least January 2012 through April 2016

Owner of North Carolina Tax Preparation Business Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Defraud the IRS
Image: NCCC
December 20, 2016

A North Carolina man, who owned a tax preparation business in Rockingham, pleaded guilty this week in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina to one count of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and two counts of assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) reports.

According to documents filed with the court, from at least January 2012 through April 2016, Herbert Lee Martin owned and operated a tax preparation business known as "Herb's Helping Hands," where he prepared and filed false electronic federal income tax returns that claimed fraudulent refunds for clients. Martin also taught his three nieces how to prepare false tax returns and supervised their preparation of these returns.

USDOJ reports that Martin and his co-conspirators reported fictitious or inflated income and dependency exemptions to generate false or inflated Earned Income Tax Credits, false business income and losses, and false deductions.

On occasion, Martin and his co-conspirators purchased, and sometimes stole, personal identifying information of individuals, including minor children, and listed these individuals as false dependents on returns to generate larger fraudulent refunds for their clients. Martin also directed some of the clients' refunds into his own bank account or a bank account he controlled.

Chief U.S. District Judge William L. Osteen, Jr. set Martin's sentencing for May 12, 2017. Pursuant to the terms of his plea agreement, Martin will be sentenced to 132 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution to the IRS of at least $10,705,968.00. He also faces a period of supervised release and monetary penalties.

Additional information about USDOJ's Tax Division and its enforcement efforts can be found on the division's website.