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Toledo tax service managers accused of defrauding IRS, clients

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Two Toledo tax service store managers have been indicted on federal fraud charges related to tax returns they prepared in 2011.

Adonay Mehreteab, 27, of Fort Wayne, Indiana and Miranda Parr, 32, of Heath, Ohio, are charged with conspiracy, wire fraud and making false, fictitious, or fraudulent claims to the Internal Revenue Service for tax year 2011. Parr also faces a charge of aggravated identity theft. 

The Department of Justice says the two filed at least 114 false or fraudulent tax returns for 2011, resulting in a total return of $700,974 and a loss to the government of $265,510.

The DOJ says Mehreetab owned and operated two Instant Tax Service franchise offices in Toledo, one on Monroe Street and the other on Airport Highway. Mehreteab and Parr managed the offices, according to the indictment.

According to United States Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach, the stores offered loans of up to $1,000 near the end of 2011. In order to get the loan, customers would have to turn over their name, Social Security number, address, pay stub, names of dependants and their Social Security numbers. The indictment alleges Mehreetab and Parr prepared correct returns when the client was present but later added false items to the return, such as false wages or incorrect dependants, to increase the refund amount. They also added false credits and deductions without verification and, in some instances, without authorization, according to the indictment.

The DOJ also claims the businesses would charge exorbitant fees, typically $500 to $1,000 without informing client the fees would be deducted from his or her tax return.

"These defendants preyed upon clients who were in some cases desperate and in other cases not financially experienced," Dettelbach said. "We will continue to work with the IRS to prosecute those who would abuse tax laws."

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