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Published: Wednesday, 2/8/2006

Woman arrested on tax charges

A Toledo woman accused of falsifying documents to assist others to illegally obtain federal income tax money was arrested yesterday and arraigned in U.S. District Court.

Shawntelle R. Morris, 27, of 560 Leach Ave. turned herself in to federal marshals. She and Lakeble N. Gibson, 32, of 3746 East Manhattan Blvd. were indicted last week by a federal grand jury.

They are accused of creating false versions of wages and earnings statements of individuals who used the falsified documents to compute much higher refunds than they were actually due on tax returns that they filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

The defendants appeared yesterday before Magistrate Vernelis Armstrong in separate hearings in federal court and each pleaded not guilty. They were released on their own recognizance.

Ms. Morris and Ms. Gibson are charged with 25 and 18 counts, respectively, of aiding and assisting in the preparation and filing of false tax returns. They also are each charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the government by making false statements.

The indictment said nearly 40 people paid the defendants $500 to falsify W-2 forms from February, 2002, through April, 2004, then took the altered documents to tax-return preparers and filed returns electronically, receiving cash advances.



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