Costa Mesa woman accused of tax fraud
A 30-year-old Costa Mesa woman was one of seven indicted Wednesday
on charges of falsifying tax returns, fraudulently seeking an
estimated $47 million in refunds from the Internal Revenue Service,
federal officials said.
A federal grand jury in Santa Ana returned a 23-count indictment
that accuses the seven defendants, including Heather Lee Chaffin of
Costa Mesa, linked to Yorba Linda's DeAngelo Tax Service and
Anaheim's Western Tax Service, of conspiring to defraud the IRS and
assisting in the filing of false tax returns that included false
deductions for charitable contributions.
Officials said the defendants charged taxpayers exorbitant fees
for their fraudulent services. They typically charged anywhere
between $300 and more than $1,700 for tax preparation services that
often took less than 30 minutes, officials said. Western Tax Service
collected about $6.2 million in tax preparation fees during the 2001
filing season, according to the indictment.
Chaffin and the other defendants are scheduled to be arraigned at
the federal court in Santa Ana on May 3.