St. Francisville woman among arrests for tax fraud _lowres

Photo provided by Kizzy Payton -- Tiffany L. Polk

A joint initiative by the Louisiana Department of Revenue and Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office resulted in three arrests last week, bringing the number of people jailed for tax fraud to 58, a news release said.

Tiffany L. Polk, 8035 Jones Vaughn Creek Road, St. Francisville, was among those booked.

Polk was booked with multiple felonies related to her work as a tax preparer. Investigators say she submitted state income tax returns for clients that contained fraudulent claims for tax credits and tax deductions.

In one case, Polk is accused of submitting state and federal income tax returns without the taxpayer’s knowledge, directing the refunds to a bank account she set up in the taxpayer’s name and transferring the money to her own bank account.

Polk was charged Jan. 20 with identity theft, attempted theft, computer fraud and filing or maintaining false public records.

“Investigating and prosecuting tax fraud remains a top priority of the Department of Revenue,” Secretary of Revenue Kimberly Robinson said. “These arrests demonstrate that our partnership with the AG’s Office and other agencies is producing tangible results for Louisiana taxpayers.”

Two Baton Rouge men, Michael Wayne Chauncy and Chad William Reeves, were booked along with Polk into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on multiple counts, including failure to file, evasion of tax, theft, failing to account for state tax monies and injuring public records.

Since it began in 2013, the state’s anti-tax fraud crackdown has stopped $21 million in fraudulent refunds from being issued and collected $500,000 in restitution from those arrested.

As tax-filing season begins, the Department of Revenue is intensifying its fraud detection program. Because of the effort to protect Louisiana residents from identity theft and other forms of fraud, taxpayers filing electronically can expect refunds within 60 days and those who file paper returns should expect to wait 12 to 14 weeks, the release said.