Tenth Defendant Pleads Guilty To Tax Fraud Scheme

SPRINGFIELD – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced last week that a Springfield woman has pleaded guilty in federal court to her role in a fraudulent tax return preparation scheme that claimed nearly $340,000 in fraudulent income tax refunds.

Amanda Leigh Boyd, 33, of Springfield, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush on Thursday, Sept. 17, to three counts of making false claims.

Co-defendant Cherie Christine Dupuis, 43, of Springfield, pleaded guilty on July 21, 2015, to leading the fraudulent tax return preparation conspiracy. Dupuis admitted that she and co-conspirators defrauded the government by filing false claims for income tax refunds from February 2009 to March 2012. In the false and fraudulent federal income tax returns they prepared and filed, conspirators claimed refunds from the IRS totaling approximately $340,630, of which approximately $336,839 was false.   Over the course of the scheme, the total actual tax loss to the IRS was $284,169.

Dupuis admitted that she filed fraudulent federal income tax returns in her own name and for at least 19 other individuals. Dupuis would usually split the fraudulent refunds with her co-conspirators. The total amount of the false claims Dupuis personally prepared and/or filed was approximately $298,708, with approximately $256,281 being paid on these false claims and a loss to the government of approximately $213,711.

Boyd admitted that she aided and abetted Dupuis, and was aided and abetted by Dupuis, in the filing of false federal income tax returns with the IRS for the 2009, 2010 and 2011 tax years. Boyd claimed tax refunds to which she knew she was not entitled. Boyd provided her personal information to Dupuis, which Dupuis then used to file false income tax returns that falsely listed wages that had not been earned and federal income tax withholdings that had not been withheld. As a result, Boyd fraudulently received a total of $29,409 in fraudulent income tax refunds and she paid approximately half of that amount to Dupuis.

Boyd is the 10th  defendant to plead guilty to her role in the scheme. In addition to Dupuis, co-defendants Johnny L. Cooper, 28, and Jeannie Marie Rhodes, 34, both of Springfield; Heather Nicole Drennen, 32, of Cameron, Mo., formerly of Springfield; Shawna Marie Hughey, 37, of Joplin, Mo., formerly of Springfield; William J. Coonce, 29, of Otterville, Mo.; Jeannette R. Dunn, 48, of Huntsville, Ark., formerly of Springfield; Asia Michelle Couchman, 26, of Oak Grove, Mo.; and Delbert L. Allen, 37, of Pleasant Hope, Mo., formerly of Springfield, have also pleaded guilty.

Under federal statutes, Boyd is subject to a sentence of up to 15 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $750,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Mohlhenrich. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.