On Thursday, it was announced that a Cleveland Heights woman had been sentenced to more than three years in prison for tax fraud. 57-year-old Janice Parks was accused of fraudulently claiming false tax refunds for more than $700,000. The defendant previously pled guilty to conspiracy to defraud the government. She has also been ordered to pay $701,052 in restitution.
Parks represented herself as a tax preparer and was the operator of J & H Professional Tax Services, which was operated from her home. Then, she began operating the Cleveland-based Jantaxx. Parks and others fraudulently claimed tax credits for people who were not entitled to them.
The defendant, her children and others recruited people and used their identity to file fraudulent tax returns. At the time, her sons were incarcerated. Parks often requested that the refunds be sent to bank accounts that she controlled. Then, she used the money for her own personal gain.
Over the course of the scheme, Parks filed returns claiming roughly $1.5 million. Ultimately, the IRS paid refunds totaling around $700,000. 55-year-old Helen Wynder of Cleveland also pleaded guilty for her role in the crime. She has been sentenced to probation.