A Palmetto woman was indicted on charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with income tax fraud, according to the office of Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida W. Stephen Muldrow.
The indictment was unsealed Monday.
Latronda Brooks, according to the indictment, opened an Urban Trust Bank account in her name but doing business as Magnificent Tax Services.
Brooks had a tax preparer number, but she didn’t use it when preparing tax returns. Instead, she used a “permission” form supposedly signed by taxpayers that allegedly gave her permission to “deposit and cash numerous third-party tax refund checks in her bank account,” according to Muldrow’s office.
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Brooks then allegedly spent the money from the refund checks on “personal expenditures” and didn’t provide the money to the taxpayers, according to Muldrow’s office.
The federal government is seeking a judgment of $327,521 — the proceeds of the alleged fraud, according to Muldrow’s office.
In addition, if convicted, Brooks faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on the wire fraud count and an additional two-year sentence for the aggravated identity theft charge that could be served consecutively.