Tendai Busuman and Teresa Francis-Kasu, are charged in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with conspiracy to submit false claims to the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida announced yesterday. It was not immediately clear where Tendai Busuman and Teresa Francis-Kasu were booked or whether they were able to post bail bond. It is also not clear whether either party has retained a private criminal defense attorney.
The Federal offenses are punishable by up to 10 years in prison by the U.S. Code, Title 18, Section 286. The IRS conducted the investigation into the charges.
According to the press release, Francis-Kasu and Busuman both worked at tax return preparers for a company called Right Tax Quick Services in Sunrise, FL. The IRS alleges that Francis-Kasu and Busuman purposefully altered and filed tax returns in order to receive large refunds, of which they were entitled to a percentage. They allegedly accomplished this by filing false or inflated deduction claims for telephone excise tax refunds and income tax withholding.
The report also mentions a third co-conspirator who allegedly collaborated with Francis-Kasu and Busuman on the scheme, although he or she remains unnamed, presumably as the investigation continues.
30-year-old Tendai Busuman, who is from Pompano Beach, is listed as a sales associate at Caldwell Banker Residential Real Estate located in Fort Lauderdale, FL. No public records were available regarding Francis-Kasu’s employment history. She is reportedly from the Coconut Creek.
The first four months of every year are riddled with tax fraud scheme busts as people prepare to file their taxes. One such case in Broward County this January indicted Wilson Lau and Kate Yuee Lau of Coral Springs, who were charged with one count each of conspiracy. Wilson Lau was also charged with one count of aggravated identity theft. If convicted on all charges, Kate Lau will serve up to 5 years in prison and Wilson Lau will serve up to 7 years in prison.
The couple owned a business called American Quick Cash Depot, located in Oakland Park, FL. They allegedly cashed checks that they knew were stolen and bore false signatures or endorsements. In exchange for cashing the checks, the Laus would receive a percentage of the profits. Their alleged fraudulent activity netted about $5.25 million, authorities believe, though no amount was forthcoming as to how much the Laus supposedly kept.
The investigation by the Internal Revenue Service and Secret Service continues as investigators attempt to identify who was responsible for stealing the checks and creating the false signatures or endorsements. “It is time for tax refund scammers to realize that we will not allow them to steal taxpayers’ hard-earned money. Today’s charges are just the beginning,” said the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida in a press release. “We now join forces with the IRS and Secret Service to combat tax refund fraud and identity theft. To this end, we will make the investigation and prosecution of these cases a top priority.”