For More Information Contact:
DOR Public Affairs Office
(803) 898-5464 OR Adrienne Fairwell
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11 April 2008
Demark tax preparer arrested on tax charges
A Denmark tax preparer is facing charges of preparing fraudulent tax returns following his arrest today by South Carolina Department of Revenue investigators.
Caronardo Fernanda Benbow, 21, was charged with 10 counts of willfully preparing fraudulent state income tax returns. He was released from the Bamberg County Detention Center Friday afternoon on a $20,000 surety bond and ordered not to leave the state.
Benbow was detained March 27 in Travis County, Texas after a traffic stop. Travis County law enforcement officials held Benbow on the South Carolina tax charges pending his extradition. South Carolina Department of Revenue investigators flew to Texas Thursday and escorted Benbow back to the Bamberg County jail where he was held pending his bond hearing.
Benbow, a former employee of Computax of Denmark, is accused of doctoring tax returns he prepared in 2007 by claiming bogus deductions or business losses to generate a larger tax refund for clients. He is facing up to 50 years in prison and fines of up to $5,000 if convicted of the charges.
The revenue department’s investigation showed Benbow’s clients were not aware their tax returns were fraudulently prepared, although in some cases the clients could be assessed penalties and interest.
The department’s investigation into Computax of Denmark’s business practices is ongoing.