BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A husband and wife who own a tax preparation business face fraud charges for allegedly scheming Louisiana taxpayers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Louisiana Department of Revenue reported James Chester and his wife, Constance Brown-Chester, owners of C&B Tax Service in Lafayette, are accused of filing fake state income tax returns for their clients and themselves.
Investigators said the Chesters submitted returns with made up business losses for clients, who, in many cases, were not even business owners. They added Constance Brown-Chester filed returns on behalf of C&B claiming business losses that could not be proven.
Officials said the scheme resulted in $226,000 in fraudulent income tax refunds. The Chesters were booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on Wednesday.
James Chester is charged with five counts each of computer fraud and filing or maintaining false public records. His bond is set at $10,000.
Constance Brown-Chester is charged with 11 counts each of computer fraud and filing or maintaining public records. Her bond is set at $22,000.
LDR reported 52 people have now been arrested as part of an ongoing anti-fraud initiative.