Tax scam costs state more than $2 million

Tax scam costs state more than $2 million (Image 1)_9537

Box by box, police removed tax returns filed at Tax Connection Worldwide in LaGrange, just one of three locations they are investigating for tax fraud.

Thursday morning, the department of revenue arrested 43-year-old, Rainessia Stiggers, who they say owned and operated the businesses. Police are still looking for her business partner, Robert Barrett. 

“Our scheme development team has been working over a year on this case and we have identified they have stolen over two million dollars, and while a large portion of that money has gone back to their clients, they collected a large portion from their fees, and we are going to have to collect that money back,” said Chief Josh Waites, Office of Investigation, Georgia Dept. of Revenue.

The department tells News Three, the company profited by collecting a service fee from more than 4,000 taxpayers filing through the company.

“They charged a fee anywhere from $500 to $750 to prepare and that’s how they supported their business and their lifestyles,” said Waites.

Officials with the Revenue Department said word quickly spread about the “too good to be true” refunds, which generated more business for the company.

“They worked from referrals, so they would get large refunds, and then tell their friends and family, and then those people would come here, and pay for them to do their taxes,” said Waites.

According to officials, the more than $2 million in taxpayer money stolen is now the burden of those victims and the owners to pay back.

“Every taxpayer in the state of Georgia has to pay a little more, because they stole 2.1 million dollars,” said Waites.

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