Hollywood woman sentenced to prison for tax fraud

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A 64-year-old Hollywood woman was sentenced to prison in federal court for fraudulent tax preparation.

Scennie Murdaugh was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and 12 months home detention with electronic monitoring, and one year supervised release.

Evidence presented in the case established that Murdaugh owned and operated Murdaugh's Tax Service, a tax preparation business in Hollywood.  Murdaugh caught the attention of the Internal Revenue Service after an IRS fraud detection center identified a pattern of suspicious deductions on the tax returns that she prepared.

Due to these suspicious deductions, an undercover operation was initiated, and an undercover agent went to Murdaugh's business in April 2006.

According to authorities, the undercover agent provided Murdaugh information that should have resulted in a tax due of $762.  Murdaugh prepared the undercover agent's tax return and claimed more than $10,000 in false charitable deductions and moving expenses, court documents report.

Based on this information, a search warrant was executed at Murdaugh's business in May 2006, and her client files were seized.  After a thorough investigation, the IRS identified 254 false tax returns prepared by Murdaugh in 2004-2005 that caused a tax loss of more than $600,000 to the US Treasury.

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