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State to announce criminal charges in tax fraud scheme

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and Comptroller Peter Franchot plan to announce criminal indictments related to alleged tax fraud at a press conference on Friday.

The charges come as state officials have raised alarms about increasing tax fraud, especially by preparers. In the last few months, the comptroller's office has stopped accepting returns from about 60 private tax preparers at multiple locations.

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Franchot's office cited the presence of a high volume of "suspicious" characteristics on returns submitted by those locations, such as significant changes in refund requests from the previous year or inflated or undocumented business expenses.

The indictments allege the creation of fraudulent returns from "vulnerable" impoverished individuals, according to a press release.

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Franchot has asked the General Assembly to give the comptroller's office more power to fight tax fraud by enabling its agents — who already investigate alcohol, fuel and tobacco cases — to issue subpoenas and search warrants in income tax cases.

nsherman@baltsun.com


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