This ex-manager of a tax service in Virginia Beach used bogus info to get higher refunds for her customers

Markita Simon (Southside Daily/Courtesy of Western Tidewater Regional Jail)
Markita Simon (Southside Daily/Courtesy of Western Tidewater Regional Jail)

VIRGINIA BEACH — A former manager of a tax service here was sentenced Monday to nearly five years in prison for her role in a conspiracy to prepare false tax returns for her customers.

According to court documents, Markita D. Simon, 32, of Rocky Mount, North Carolina was the manager of a now-closed, Virginia Beach-based Express Tax Preparation Services.

From December 2014 to February 2016, Simon was responsible for using false information in her customers’ tax returns in order to generate a higher refund amount, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

In some cases, she falsely stated that the customer had dependent children so that the customer would qualify for beneficial tax credits, prosecutors said.

She also filed returns using the names and Social Security numbers of other people without their knowledge. The court found that she was responsible for a tax loss of approximately $203,000.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.