By Associated Press - Saturday, April 23, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A federal court has permanently barred a Mississippi tax preparer from filing other people’s federal taxes.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi granted a default motion against Teresa Chism on Friday after she failed to appear in court or file a legal defense.

Chism owns Lady T. Taxes in Durant. Federal prosecutors say she has repeatedly filed federal income tax returns that exaggerated her customers’ claims for refunds.

Prosecutors say audits of 220 tax returns Chism prepared show that she lied about nearly all of them. They accuse her of claiming a total of more than $1 million in tax credits she knew her customers weren’t actually eligible to receive.

Chism’s business has prepared at least 2,800 tax returns since 2010.

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