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A franchisee of the former Mo Money tax store chain has been sentence to five years in prison. Teresa Chism is the latest person formerly associated with the chain, which had once more than 300 stores in 13 states, to be convicted for tax return fraud. She continued operating tax businesses after the chain itself was closed.

A former resident of Durant, Miss., Chism must also serve three years of supervised release and pay $135,134 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

From 2005 through 2015, Chism operated return businesses in Mississippi under the name Mo’ Money, MoneyCo USA, and Lady T Taxes.  She filed more than 550 false tax returns that sought more than $3.5 million in fraudulent tax refunds, utilizing false wages, self-employment income and expenses, and education credits to boost clients’ refunds.

The Mo Money chain was ordered shut down in September 2013 after being accused of systematically preparing fraudulent returns. Several preparers were convicted since then.  Cousins Markey Granberry and Derrick Robinson, who owned the franchise, were barred from preparing tax returns for others but were not charged with crimes. In his only Facebook post about the subject, Granberry in 2017 promised a book about the Mo Money experience that would tell the truth about the shutdown.

Last modified on Tuesday, 07 May 2019
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