A 64-year-old Charleston County tax preparer will spend a year in prison and a year under house arrest for filing more than 250 false federal tax returns, a U.S. judge decided today.
An Internal Revenue Service investigation found that Scennie Murdaugh, of Hollywood, filed 254 fraudulent returns in 2004 and 2005, federal prosecutors said. The faked filings shorted the U.S. Treasury of $600,000 in taxes.
IRS agents began investigating Murdaughs Tax Service after the agency detected a suspicious pattern of deductions on returns she prepared, prosecutors said.
In April 2006, an undercover agent went to Murdaugh with tax information that should have resulted in $762 due to the treasury. Instead, Murdaugh prepared a return that had $10,000 in false charitable contributions and moving expenses, authorities said.
The IRS got a search warrant for her business the next month. Her files showed a pattern of false returns.