COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The husband and wife team of Ken and Lakeisha Degourville are accused of doctoring more than 2,000 tax returns and receiving at least $2 million worth of fraudulent money.
Officials say the operation spanned for around three years.
"Arrest warrants for the following charges were issued today: identity fraud, theft by taking, theft by deception forgery in the first degree and computer forgery," senior Assistant District Attorney Alonza Whitaker said during a press conference Monday.
Whitaker says those felony charges were revealed as investigators searched Tax Time against the Degourvilles. The Georgia Department of Revenue launched an investigation into the dealings of the business approximately six months ago.
"An individual would go in to get their taxes done," explained Chief Josh Waites, special investigator with the Georgia Department of Revenue. "They would go to the tax preparer. They would bring their tax documents and, we suspect the suspects in this case, would take those documents, then add additional documents to it to increase the person's refund amount, and then they would take a large percentage of that for their preparation fee. They did this over 2,000 times."
It's a substantial find and loss for the entire state of Georgia, Waites explained. Now, the Degourvilles could face dozens of counts for each felony against them. At this time, none of the recipients face charges, but they could face having to pay back the extra money they received.
"We're going to actually go through and determine the correct amount of money that the tax payers should have received," Waites added. "If they received more, they're going to get a bill and they're going to have to pay that money back."
Both Ken and Lakeisha Degourville are being held in the Muscogee County Jail on a $75,00 bond, per felony, for a total of $37,500 each. The couple will have a probable cause hearing on Nov, 21. The Georgia Department of Revenue says the investigation is still ongoing.
Nearly 20 officers were involved, including law enforcement agencies from Department of Revenue, the Muscogee County District Attorney and the Columbus police department.
From the seizure at the home, four automobiles were taken by authorities, including an Audi, Lexus, Hummer and a Chevrolet Tahoe.