A Chattooga County resident has been charged with a conspiracy that involved submitting false tax returns to the IRS.  According to a press release issued yesterday by U.S. Attorney W. Walker Wilkins in South Carolina, 50 year old Randall Lewis Smith of Summerville along with three other men, one of whom is incarcerated in federal prison already, have been charged with submitting 27 false income tax returns, theft of government funds, conspiracy and aggravated identity theft. The indictment alleges that false tax returns were submitted to the IRS in the names of members of the conspiracy as well as the names of others, some of whom weren’t aware their identities were being used. Refunds totaling about $1.4 million were requested, and more than $415,000 in refunds were issued before the scheme was detected.The maximum penalty for a conspiracy conviction is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; for false claim, five years in prison and a $250,000 fine; theft of government funds,10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; and aggravated identify theft, two years in prison consecutive to any other penalty and a $250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the IRS Criminal Investigative Division and assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Dean A. Eichelberger of the Columbia, S.C. office for prosecution.