On Thursday, May 31, 2018, it was announced that 33-year-old Chantale Baptiste of Coral Springs, Florida had been sentenced to 33 months in prison for conspiring with her husband, Weguel Legentus, to defraud the Internal Revenue Service. Publicly filed court documents show that Baptiste and her husband operated CMB Financial Group Inc. The tax preparation business was located primarily in Broward County. The defendant and her husband would meet with clients and prepare their tax returns.
From at least 2013 through 2016, Baptiste and Legentus prepared and filed false and fraudulent federal income tax returns on behalf of their clients. They attached IRS Schedule C forms reflecting profits or losses associated with businesses that the clients did not operate. As a result of the false and fraudulent Schedule C forms, the refund owed by the IRS was increased.
Baptiste and Legentus provided their clients with a copy of their prepared income tax return and represented that the information would be filed with the IRS on the clients’ behalf. Then, the defendants would alter the returns without the client’s knowledge and inflate the refund amount even further. Then, the defendant and her husband filed the false return with the inflated amount. When the IRS disbursed the money into bank accounts controlled by the defendant and her husband, they would keep some of the money for their own use and benefit.
In some cases, they would keep the entire tax return for themselves. One client received a refund of approximately $12,000. Baptiste and Legentus kept the entire amount. When clients complained, they were ignored or lied to. Baptiste previously pled guilty to conspiracy to defraud the IRS. Legentus also pled guilty to conspiracy to defraud the IRS and was sentenced to 33 months in prison.
Further details have been made available here.