On May 30, 2017, Carlita Frances O’Neal and Jeannine Clark were indicted by a Federal grand jury for conspiracy to defraud the United States and false claims. O’Neal was also charged with theft of public money. O’Neal was arrested by IRS Special Agents in Phoenix on June 8, 2017. Clark self-surrendered and made her initial appearance on June 14, 2017.
Trial is currently scheduled for August 17, 2017.
The indictment alleges that defendants O’Neal and Clark prepared and filed fraudulent federal income tax returns for themselves and their acquaintances using made up income and withholding information to qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit and increase the false tax refund claimed on the returns. O’Neal profited from the scheme by charging inflated rates to prepare and file the fraudulent tax returns and Clark received a referral fee from O’Neal for her part in the scheme. In total, between 2011 and 2013, O’Neal and Clark, working separately and conspiring together, prepared and filed approximately 75 fraudulent tax returns, which falsely claimed tax refunds totaling approximately $336,566.63.
Charges in indictments are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law. The investigation in this case was conducted by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.