The owner of Tax King Inc. in West Palm Beach has been sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for charges related to fraudulent returns and stolen identities.
Corry E. Pearson, 28, of Riviera Beach was sentenced by U.S. District Court judge Beth Bloom to 124 months after prosecutors said he and accomplices filed at least 770 fraudulent returns for more than $5 million in refunds.
Pearson plans to appeal, said his attorney Ana Davide.
“He intends to vindicate himself,” she said.
Wednesday’s sentencing comes after years of fraud and ID theft that started in 2011, according to Benjamin G. Greenberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and Michael J. DePalma, acting special agent in charge for the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigation unit.
In some cases, defendants stole identities and collected returns for themselves and tried to disguise control of the money, federal officials said. A number of returns involved false representations about gambling losses and education credits, according to authorities.
A restitution hearing has been set for July 13.
Co-defendant Stephane Cindy Anor, also known as Stephanie Anor, 28, of West Palm Beach, previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and was sentenced to 36 months in prison. She worked as a tax preparer at Tax King.
The owner of a West Palm Beach tax preparation business and an employee stand accused of filing hundreds of fraudulent returns and claiming at least $3.7 million in fraudulent refunds.
In an indictment unsealed Wednesday, Corry E. Pearson of Riviera Beach and Stephane Cindy Anor of West Palm Beach were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
Pearson, who owned Tax King Inc. in West Palm beach, was also charged with money laundering. Anor was described as an employee.
In some cases, they stole identities and collected returns for themselves, according to Benjamin G. Greenberg, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Kelly R. Jackson, special agent in charge for the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigation unit.
Some returns involved false representations about gambling losses and education credits, federal officials said.
Attempts to reach the defendants were not successful. A statement from federal officials notes an indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering charges carry maximum penalties up to 20 years each, with two years a possible penalty for ID theft, officials said.
Tax King Inc. was incorporated in 2012 in West Palm Beach and later dissolved for failure to file administrative reports, state records show.
Federal authorities focused on at least 862 returns they considered fraudulent, dating back as far as 2012.