The scam was the brainchild of Patricia Fountain, a former IRS customer service representative. She convinced 21 people to file returns claiming the telephone excise tax credit and the first-time homebuyer credit to gain a larger refund. In exchange for her sliding the returns through, she would be paid $400 to $3,000, depending on the size of the refund.
She warned anyone who did not share the refund with her that she would flag the account, causing an audit.
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