CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Seven people from Charlotte pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Services by preparing and filing false tax returns.
Joseph Octave and Vonyeda Carson pleaded guilty on Jan. 12, while Melissa Greene, Natisha Holloman, Kimberly Joline, Whitney Vargas-Medrano and Wendia Courtois pleaded guilty earlier in 2020. In addition to the conspiracy charge, Octave pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and assisting in the filing of false tax returns.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Octave owned and operated Kapital Financial Services, a tax preparation business with two offices located in Charlotte.
From 2014 through at least 2019, Octave and certain employees, specifically Carson, Courtois, Vargas-Medrano, Greene, Holloman and Joline conspired to falsify clients’ tax returns by claiming deductions, business losses, American Opportunity credits, education credits and earned income tax credits that the clients did not incur, in order to fraudulently increase refunds to be paid by the IRS.
Court records show that Octave trained employees on how to file false returns and provided them with scripts and cheat sheets. Octave instructed employees not to provide clients with copies of their tax returns and not to review the completed tax returns with clients beyond the refund amount. By filing false returns, Octave and his co-conspirators increased their client base and unjustly enriched themselves. As owner, Octave received the largest share of the $700,000 earned by Kapital Financial Services in preparation fees, according to court documents.
Their sentencing has not been scheduled.
Octave faces a maximum of eight years in prison, and Carson, Courtois, Greene, Holloman, Joline, and Vargas-Medrano each face a maximum of five years in prison. They all also face a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.