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Two Mo' Money Preparers Sentenced

Mo moneyTwo Memphis, Tenn., area residents, who were partners in a former Mo' Money Taxes tax store, have received prison sentences. Jeremy Blanchard and Erik Pittman, both 35-year-old Memphis residents, this week drew the terms for filing numerous phony individual tax returns. The Mo Money chain was ordered shut down in September 2013 after being accused of systematically preparing fraudulent returns.

The Mo Money franchise once claimed more than 300 stores in 18 states, primarily in the South, before a court barred the franchise's owners, cousins Markey Granberry and Derrick Robinson, from preparing tax returns for others or owning or operating such a business. The Blanchard and Pittman sentences were only the latest in a series of actions related to actions against former Mo Money store owners and preparers.

Blanchard must serve 70 months in prison; Pittman, 33 months, and pay $549,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. The two had each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns. Blanchard must serve three years of supervised release, Pittman, one year, after serving their terms.

Blanchard and Pittman operated three Mo Money locations in the Richmond, Va., area. Another participant in the scheme, Corey Taylor, 25, of Richmond, was sentenced to serve 20 months in prison

In 2013, another chain store franchisee, Jimi Clark of Memphis, Tenn., was sentenced to 20 months in prison for falsely claiming educational tax credits on 47 returns. A co-defendant in that case was sentenced to six months in prison, while three others pleaded guilty and were sentenced in the same case.

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
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