- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The U.S. Justice Department is trying to shut down a tax preparation business in central Mississippi, saying the woman who runs it has filed more than $1 million of false claims for refundable credits on behalf of clients since 2010.

The department filed a complaint Monday against Teresa Chism of Durant and her business, Lady T. Taxes.

It asks a judge to block Chism from preparing federal tax returns.

“Only a permanent injunction against acting as a return preparer, as opposed to a narrower injunction against specified conduct, will suffice to secure Chism’s compliance with the tax laws and put an end to her substantial interference with the administration of the tax laws,” the complaint said. “The imposition of penalties has failed to deter Chism.”

One phone number listed for Chism was answered Monday by a recording saying the line had been disconnected. Calls to another number were not answered. It was not immediately clear whether Chism has an attorney to comment on her behalf.

The Justice Department complaint said Chism has fraudulently claimed refundable credits for clients, such as education credits for people who weren’t in college at the time the claim was made.

The complaint said the IRS started investigating Chism in 2011 because “a high proportion” of returns she prepared claimed the earned income tax credit.

The Justice Department complaint said investigators found what they suspected were 27 forged W-2 documents that falsely claimed people worked for Tyson Foods in 2012, but a company representative confirmed the people didn’t work there then.

The complaint said Chism was imprisoned from February 2003 to September 2007 after being convicted on state charges of check forgery and using counterfeit currency. It says she prepared 2,281 tax returns between 2010 and 2013.

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