Columbus couple at center of tax fraud sentenced on Thursday

Columbus couple at center of tax fraud sentenced on Thursday

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – The Columbus couple at the heart of a massive tax fraud scandal received sentences on Thursday.

Ken and Lakeisha Degourville were both sentenced by Judge Gil McBride on Thursday in a Muscogee County courtroom.

Ken Degourville was sentenced to 15 years, with five years in jail and 10 years of probation. Lakeisha Degourville was sentenced to 15 years of probation.

Another condition of their sentencing is neither are allowed to prepare any taxes other than their own for the duration of their sentences. Both were also given fines of $25,000 to pay.

The district attorney's office asked for 15 years with five to serve, plus restitution.

The couple was charged with several counts of identity fraud, filing false documents, computer forgery, and also evasion of income tax and theft by taking. A referral from Alabama led to the investigation.

Defense attorneys Mike Garner and William Kendrick argued that their clients had no criminal history and multiple members in their family, including their mothers and their two children, are all depending on them.

The couple were arrested on Nov. 17, 2014 after a six-month investigation by the Georgia Department of Revenue led to a raid at the Tax Time business, formerly located on Macon Road.

The investigation resulted in a 57-count indictment, which alleged that the couple filed more than 2,000 false tax returns.

The restitution hearing is Aug. 4 at noon.

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