Tax preparers accused of ID theft, filing false returns

by: Amy Napier Viteri Updated:

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HENRY COUNTY, Ga. —

Channel 2 Action News had the only crew with state investigators with the Department of Revenue as they executed search warrants at the home of a tax preparer accused of filing fraudulent returns and identity theft.

Ramona Conley had no comment when officers walked her in handcuffs to a waiting patrol car outside her McDonough home. DOR investigators and Henry County Police went to Conley's home with a search warrant. They said she and her business partner Deatra Lightfoot have been filing doctored tax returns for clients at their business MFR Taxes in Conyers.

"She would take legitimate clients to do their taxes and then add W-2's to them to increase their refund" according to Chief Josh Waites with the Revenue Department's Office of Special Investigations.

Waites told Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri Conley that Lightfoot would then pocket the difference and also stole inmate's identities to file false returns.

Investigators seized several luxury cars as evidence. Inside the home they found cocaine, meth and marijuana, along with several illegal guns.  

Neighbors like Arthur Toomer were surprised to see the police activity in their community.

"I would never think that, just like I said because of the neighborhood. It's a nice neighborhood."

Investigators said Conley likely got money back from the IRS but the state blocked her refunds. Preventing this kind of theft has been a recent focus in Georgia.

"We think we lead the nation in blocking this type of activity," Waites said. "We put several safeguards in place."

But investigators want to send the message they're cracking down on those who try.

Both Conley and Lightfoot were booked into the Henry County jail where they face several charges, including identity fraud, forgery and unlawful filing of false documents.