A Georgia couple was arrested on tax fraud charges March 22 by agents from the South Carolina Department of Revenue.
Agents charged one person with preparing false income tax returns in others' names and accused the couple of diverting more than $65,000 in refunds to their separate bank accounts, according to a news release.
Jonathan Kannard Sams, 31, of Grovetown, Ga., is charged with 14 counts of assisting in the preparation of a false tax return, three counts of obtaining goods or property greater than $10,000 by false pretenses, and one count of conspiracy.
Chelsea Jeannie Sams, 28, is charged with one count of obtaining goods or property greater than $10,000 by false pretenses, one count of conspiracy, and one count of obtaining goods or property greater than $2,000 but less than $10,000.
According to arrest warrants, Jonathan Sams prepared false South Carolina income tax returns in the names of seven other Georgia citizens, without their consent or knowledge of the false filings. Those filings included fraudulent deductions totaling $191,063, fraudulent credits totaling $156,574, and fraudulent expenses totaling $56,580.
Warrants accuse Chelsea Sams of receiving refunds totaling more than $14,000 from the SCDOR that were generated by submitting fraudulent income tax returns in other people's names. She is also charged with conspiring with others in attempts to obtain goods or property by false pretenses.
The state of South Carolina's total loss in taxes in the case was $125,540, of which $50,862 is attributable to Jonathan Sams and $14,646 to Chelsea Sams. Some of the taxpayers will have to pay back the fraudulent refunds they received, according to the release.
If convicted, Jonathan Sams faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $10,000 for each count of assisting in the preparation of a false tax return. Chelsea Sams faces a maximum sentence of not more than five years or a fine at the discretion of the court for the charge of obtaining goods by false pretenses greater than $2,000 but less than $10,000.
Both spouses face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for each count of obtaining goods or property by false pretenses greater than $10,000 and a maximum sentence of five years and/or a fine of $5,000 for each count of conspiracy.
Both are being held in the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center pending a bond hearing.
If you suspect or know of anyone or a business that has committed a state tax crime, such as tax evasion or tax fraud, contact SCDOR Criminal Investigation and submit a Tax Violation Complaint Form to email@example.com or mail it to South Carolina Department of Revenue, Attn: Fraud Advisor, 2070 Northbrook Blvd., Suite B7, North Charleston, S.C., 29406.