ANCHORAGE, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced today that Sanh Sunni Thampithak, a/k/a “Allysia” or “Ally”, 54, of Anchorage, has been charged with fraud and false statements for preparing fraudulent income tax returns on behalf of other individuals.
The criminal complaint alleges that Thampithak had been filing fraudulent tax returns, as an informal tax preparer, for tax years 2015-2017. Specifically, it is alleged that Thampithak did taxes for the Lao community and others in Anchorage, charging them $100$300 per return, but would obtain unwarranted refunds for her clients by inflating certain Schedule A deductions and expenses, unbeknownst to her clients. It is alleged that Thampithak consistently fabricated the figures in order to generate refunds for her clients, which, in turn, grew her business as a tax preparer.
Thampithak became the subject of a federal investigation after her IP addresses were linked to questionable Forms 1040 that had been referred to IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). During the course of the investigation, Thampithak knowingly prepared a fraudulent return for an IRS-CI undercover agent, and then lied to investigators to conceal the criminal conduct. Her alleged scheme entailed the filing of at least 13 fraudulent returns that reported approximately $250,000 in false claims, resulting in her clients receiving refunds up to 1,575 percent more than what they were due.
Thampithak routinely misrepresented herself to her clients as a legitimate tax preparer. Return preparer fraud is one of the IRS’s Dirty Dozen Tax Scams and taxpayers seeking a return preparer should remain vigilant. The IRS has information on its website for choosing a tax preparer and has launched a free directory of federal tax preparers.
If convicted, Thampithak faces a maximum sentence of up to three years in federal prison, and a fine of up to a $100,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) conducted the investigation leading to the charges in this case. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Alexander of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska.
The charges in the criminal complaint are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.