WACO, Texas — A woman in Waco has been sentenced to 51 months in federal prison for her role in a tax filing conspiracy that the IRS Criminal Investigation Division claims resulted in a $1.8 million tax loss.
Labanda Loyd, a tax preparer at Tax World in Waco, also faced charges for a false application for an $18,000 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.
Two other Tax World employees also received sentences. Jalessia Elaine Sais was sentenced to 40 months for her role in the conspiracy and another PPP fraud, and Deidra Yvonne Brandon was sentenced to 12 months and one day for tax fraud conspiracy.
“Sentencing these tax criminals during tax season, as well as Loyd’s and Sais’s COVID PPP frauds nearing the third anniversary of the CARES Act is poetic irony that shows justice prevails,” said Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Rodrick J. Benton of IRS Criminal Investigation’s Houston Field Office. “These tax preparers made promises of big returns, betting they would not get caught. Remember, there is no one better at following the money than IRS-CI.”
Court documents say that between 2012 and 2017, Loyd, Brandon, Sais and two other named Shaterian Parr and Lashamekwa Alexander worked as return preparers at Tax World and another unnamed Waco tax firm.
The IRS says that the group conspired to prepare and file tax returns that fraudulently claimed refunds their clients were not entitled to receive.
The IRS claims that Loyd instructed the others on how to prepare the fraudulent returns. They say the group fabricated employment, wage and tax withholding information on some client's returns, and altered wages and withholdings for others that had been legitimately reported by their employers.
In addition to the conspiracy, Loyd and Sais pled guilty to wire fraud over false applications for PPP loans. Loyd's fraudulent application reportedly allowed her to receive up to $18,000 in PPP funds, while Sais' gave her over $14,000.
Loyd, Brandon and Said were also ordered to pay $918,396 each in restitution to the United States in addition to their prison sentences.
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