Operation targeting tax preparers was ‘biggest in state history’

Channel 2 Action News followed a Department of Revenue investigation for several months and was the only station there as agents took several tax preparers into custody.

Chief of Investigations Josh Waites told Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri the operation, which is the largest in state history, targeted the worst of the worst tax preparers. Agents believe they're behind millions of dollars in theft.

One woman, Ardra Tippett, was arrested after investigators said her tax business, CEO Tax & Accounting Services, filed fraudulent returns on behalf of clients in an effort to illegally obtain bigger refunds.

Agents also seized a second business of Tippett's, Cake Cafe on Candler Road in DeKalb County. They say Tippett has been charging customers sales tax for years and refusing to pay it to the state, for a total of nearly $77,000.

"You break the law, you've gotta serve the time," said one of Tippett's customers.

Investigators also arrested Xzavier Sullivan, a convicted felon who they say admitted to using a relative's Preparer Tax Identification Number to file returns for clients at his business, VLOS6 Tax Services on Columbia Woods Drive. Agents also found Sullivan in possession of a firearm.

"You can't trust anybody these days," the customer told Viteri.

Investigators made several other arrests during the operation and say the preparers will face a range of charges including theft, forgery, computer fraud, making false statements and conspiracy to defraud the state.

Investigators want anyone who feels they may be a victim to contact the Department of Revenue and want taxpayers to know any refund fraudulently obtained through any of these businesses will still be due to the state.

About the Author

Editors' Picks