Tallahassee Tax Preparer Sentenced for Tax Fraud

By: US Department of Justice; Julie Montanaro Email
By: US Department of Justice; Julie Montanaro Email

UPDATED 4.23.2013 by Julie Montanaro

A Tallahassee woman will spend the next two years in federal prison for her part in a bogus tax return scheme.

Shavita Davis will also serve three years on supervised release.

She was one of three people accused of preparing false tax returns.

Co-worker Anthony Barber was already sentenced for his role.

Former Leon County budget director Kenny Barber will be sentenced in June.


UPDATED 4.15.2013 by Julie Montanaro

Former Leon County Budget Director Kenny Barber will be sentenced for filing false tax returns and more on June 26.

Two tax preparers who worked with him have already entered pleas in the case and both testified against Barber at trial.

According to federal court records, co-defendant Anthony Barber plead guilty last year and was sentenced to six months in federal prison, followed by 6 months on house arrest and three years supervised release. He was ordered to pay more than $30,000 in restitution.

According to federal court records, co-defendant Shavita Davis plead guilty earlier this year in the middle of her trial. She is scheduled to be sentenced April 24th.


Press Release: US Department of Justice

TALLAHASSEE – Kenneth L. Barber, 62, of Tallahassee, Florida, was convicted by a federal jury in Tallahassee today of wire fraud, preparing false tax returns, making a false statement to a bank, and conspiracy to commit tax fraud. The verdict was announced by Pamela C. Marsh, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

At trial, the government presented evidence that Barber ran and operated a local tax preparation business where he encouraged preparers to falsify clients’ tax returns. Barber’s former employees testified that the defendant trained them on how to prepare fraudulent returns to increase the clients’ tax refunds.

At Barber’s instruction and direction, the employees filed returns falsifying income, deductions, credits, dependents, and filing status in order to obtain inflated tax refunds and to limit the tax due to the IRS. Government agents testified that the scheme resulted in a loss of more than $700,000.

Barber was convicted of making false statements to a financial institution based upon evidence that he provided a bank with false information concerning his income in order to qualify for loans totaling more than $300,000. Records introduced at trial showed that personal and corporate tax returns Barber submitted to Wachovia Bank reflected substantially greater income than the returns the defendant actually filed with the IRS.

The defendant is facing a maximum sentence of five years in prison for conspiracy, three years in prison on each count of preparing fraudulent tax returns, twenty years in prison on each count of wire fraud, and thirty years in prison on each count of making a false statement to a bank.

In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Marsh said, “As honest American citizens are filing their tax returns in advance of Monday’s deadline, this verdict emphasizes that we continue to aggressively pursue those who defraud and illegally manipulate the tax system. Tax return preparers who engage in illegal schemes abuse positions of trust and willfully undermine the entire tax system. I am grateful to the dedicated public servants who tirelessly investigated and prosecuted this case.” U.S. Attorney Marsh specifically praised the work of the Internal Revenue Service, whose investigation led to the convictions in the case.

Barber is scheduled for sentencing on June 26, 2013 before United States District Judge Robert L. Hinkle.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Winifred Acosta NeSmith.


By: Julie Montanaro
March 9, 2012

Tallahassee, Fla. -- Kenneth L. Barber, 61, Anthony Tyree Barber, 25, and Shavita Altrecia Davis, 38, all of Tallahassee, have been indicted on charges of conspiring to commit federal tax fraud and committing other crimes relating to the filing of false tax returns.

The indictment alleges that between 2006 and 2010, Kenneth Barber owned and operated tax preparation businesses under the names of KLB Group Developers, Inc., and Kenneth Barber & Associates, Inc., in Tallahassee. Shavita Davis and Anthony Barber were his employees. According to the indictment, the defendants prepared and taught others to prepare false tax returns that Kenneth Barber subsequently filed with the IRS to fraudulently obtain tax refunds. The false statements contained with the tax returns included false claims of household help income, charitable contributions, dependent exemptions, filing status, and education expenses, among others.

The indictment also charges Kenneth Barber with 32 substantive counts of preparing and presenting false tax returns, and 20 counts of wire fraud arising from the fraudulent tax preparation scheme. Anthony Barber is charged with 11 substantive counts of preparing and presenting false tax returns, and 11 counts of wire fraud. Davis is charged with 19 counts of preparing and presenting false tax returns, and 8 counts of wire fraud. The indictment was announced today by Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

Shavita Altrecia Davis and Anthony Tyree Barber are scheduled for trial on May 7, 2012, in United States District Court in Tallahassee. Kenneth Barber’s trial date has not been scheduled.

If convicted, the defendants face maximum sentences of five years’ imprisonment for conspiracy, three years’ imprisonment on each count of preparing and presenting fraudulent tax returns, and twenty years’ imprisonment on each count of wire fraud.

U.S. Attorney Marsh praised the work of the Internal Revenue Service, whose investigation led to the indictment in the case.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Winifred Acosta NeSmith.

An indictment is merely an allegation by a grand jury that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


By: Julie Montanaro
March 9, 2012

Kenny Barber and two tax preparers who worked for him have just been indicted for tax fraud.

The 59 count federal indictment accuses Barber, as well as employees Anthony Barber and Shavita Davis, of filing false tax returns with the IRS.

The indictment says the returns were filed at two tax preparation businesses that Kenneth Barber owned, KLB Group Developers Inc and Kenneth Barber and Associates.

The indictment alleges the three falsified income, dependents and deductions for at least 13 customers between 2006 and 2010.

This is not Barber's first run in with the law. Leon County court records show he has been arrested at least six times in the last ten years for resisting arrest, battery and most recently for sexual battery.

Court records show he was out on bond and awaiting trial on a 2011 sexual battery charge when he was arrested on these new federal tax charges.

The U.S. District Court Clerk says Shavita Davis and Anthony Barber are both set for trial May 7th.

Davis appeared before a magistrate and was released to await trial. Anthony Barber appeared before a magistrate this morning and was ordered to remain at the federal detention center.

The clerk's office says Kenneth Barber has not yet appeared before a federal judge.

Barber served as Leon County's budget director from September 1990 to March 1997. He also served as a commission aide from November 2003 to April 2004.


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