Crime

Three Horry County residents charged with tax fraud

State revenue investigators on Friday announced income tax related charges against three people from Horry County, according to news releases.

Tyrona Bellamy, 32, of Longs and Derrick Burgess, 36, of Myrtle Beach were each charged with assisting in the preparation of a false income tax return, forgery and three counts of conspiracy, according to the S.C. Department of Revenue.

Ashley N. White, 24, of Conway was charged Friday with assisting in the preparation of a false income tax return and forgery, according to revenue officials.

The trio is being held at J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

Investigators said in the release that Bellamy and Burgess separately conspired with other parties to willfully assist in preparing a fraudulent income tax return, according to the release.

In order to have a 2011 income tax return submitted in her name, Bellamy presented a fraudulent W2 form to a tax preparer, according to the release. Bellamy did not work for the employer but stated that she earned $15,899 in wages and had $715 in state taxes withheld. Bellamy claimed a federal and state tax refund totaling $8,954 to which she was not entitled.

If convicted, Bellamy faces up to $15,500 in fines and/or 25 years in prison.

Burgess is accused of submitting a fraudulent W2 form to a tax preparer in order to have a 2011 income tax return prepared, according to the release. Burgess stated on the fraudulent W2 that he earned $16,899 in wages and had $760 in state taxes withheld from those wages; he claimed a federal and state tax refund totaling $9,109 to which he was not entitled.

Authorities said Burgess did not work for the employer listed on the fraudulent W2 tax form. If convicted, Burgess faces up to $15,500 in fines and/or 25 years in prison if convicted of the five charges.

Officials said the charges stemmed from White using a fraudulent W2 form in order to have a 2011 income tax return prepared even though she did not work for the employer, according to the release. The W2 form stated White earned wages of $14,600 and had $657 in state taxes withheld. White claimed federal and state tax refunds totaling $5,425 to which she was not entitled.

If convicted, White faces up to $500 in fines and/or 10 years in prison.

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