Clients and former employees testify in massive Columbus tax fraud trial

Clients and former employees testify in massive Columbus tax fraud trial

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Victims of a massive tax scam testified Thursday in the trial for a Columbus couple accused of fraudulently filing more than 2,000 tax returns to the tune of $2 million.

Ken and Lakeisha Degourville were originally hit with a 57-count indictment when they were arrested in November 2015 including charges like identity fraud, theft by deception, income tax evasion and computer forgery.

Kevin Davis, a client of Ken and Lakeisha Degourville, showed the jury where his taxes - that were prepared by the their company Tax Time -  indicated he was the sole proprietor of a lawnscaping business.

Davis' returns were submitted into evidence and revealed an alleged loss of $11,000, but Davis testified Thursday afternoon that the company did not exist. 

Another former client on the stand said Lakeisha Degourville prepared her taxes and claimed an increase had been made to her education and business expenses. As a result she was required to pay back nearly $5,000 to the I.R.S. 

Alonza Whitaker with the District Attorney's office called a former employee of Tax Time to stand who told the jury there were about 19 employees working between 2012-2014.

The former employee said Ken and Lakeisha Degourville would use her tax preparation ID number to file tax returns. 

During cross examination Ken's defense attorney William Kendrick asked if any of the ten computers inside the business were password protected and she said they were not. 

When asked how she knew for sure it was the Degourville's that used her ID number she said she reviewed more than 160 tax returns that were filed with her ID and some of them were her friends who she did not service.

When asking those friends who serviced them they told her Ken was the one who filed their taxes.

Trial will resume Friday at 9 a.m. inside Judge McBrides courtroom at the Government Center.

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