A tax-return preparer from Macon faces up to 17 years in prison and a $500,000 fine after pleading guilty to several charges Thursday.
Willie C. Grant used many of his former clients names and Social Security numbers to file false federal income tax returns in their names and without their knowledge, according to a news release from the Justice Department.
Grant pleaded guilty Thursday to filing a false claim for a tax refund, theft of government money and aggravated identity theft.
On the tax returns, Grant intentionally claimed false tax refunds and directed the IRS either to electronically deposit the false refunds into his personal or business bank accounts or to issue paper refund U.S. Treasury checks, according to the statement.
After that, Grant spent the proceeds of his false refund scheme on personal items, including expensive cars and personal living expenses.
From 2003 through 2008, Grant owned and operated a tax return preparation business, Grant Income Tax Bookkeeping and Check Cash, out of his home in Macon, eventually closing the business in 2009.
During calendar years 2006 through 2009, Grant prepared and filed false tax returns in the names of unsuspecting individuals. Many of the people were elderly or disabled former clients of his — or people who had died.
Grant admitted that he abused his position of private trust as a professional, paid tax preparer in committing his crimes, the release said.
He is scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 30 before U.S. District Court Chief Judge C. Ashley Royal, who has presided over the case.