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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
18 August 2008
Charleston tax preparer arrested on fraud charges
South Carolina Department of Revenue investigators arrested a Charleston County tax preparer today on multiple charges of preparing fraudulent tax returns.
Benjamin Wiggins, Jr., 57, owner of Wiggins Tax Service on James Island, was charged with 12 counts of preparing fraudulent state income tax returns and five counts of filing fraudulent tax documents with tax returns. He was released from the Charleston County Detention Center this afternoon on an $85,000 personal recognizance bond.
Wiggins is accused of preparing the fraudulent tax returns from 2004 - 2006 using exaggerated or bogus tax deductions to reduce the tax liability for his clients. The revenue department estimated Wiggins understated collectively the tax liability of 12 clients by $4,515 during that period.
No further arrests are expected, but some Wiggins Tax Service clients could face additional penalty and interest charges following the investigation.
Wiggins is facing up to 65 years in prison and fines of up to $8,500 if convicted of all the charges.