Arkansas 911 News

Tax Prep Scheme; Felony Arrest – HOT SPRINGS

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All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.

Hot Springs Police were contacted last month by the victim of a tax prep scheme that stole thousands of dollars in tax return money.

The victim described to the investigators that Tiffany Tucker, 35 of Hot Springs, had prepared her taxes for her through the last couple of years.  This year, Ms. Tucker allegedly did the victim’s taxes and advised her that she would receive a return of $4,916 and that the amount was to be direct deposited into the victim’s account on an exact date.

The date came and the deposit had not been made.  The victim asked Ms. Tucker about the hold up on receiving the funds.  Ms. Tucker allegedly said that the return was “still processing”.  The victim found this to be suspicious after a specific date had been given for when she was to receive the money.  So, she called the IRS.  The IRS advised the victim that her tax refund amount had already been direct deposited into an account belonging to Tiffany Tucker.  The victim told police that she had attempted to contact Ms. Tucker, but her number had been blocked and she was no longer able to reach her by phone.

Tiffany Lynn Tucker, 35 of Hot Springs – charged with Felony Theft Of Property relating to tax preparation

HSPD Detective Jessup interviewed Ms. Tucker.  Ms. Tucker’s alleged story goes something like this: she advised that she did prepare and file the victim’s tax return and had the return amount deposited on a bank card in her own name (Tucker’s name).  Ms. Tucker allegedly said that she obtained a loan on her own tax return that she filed.  She said that she had loaned the victim $1,500 earlier in the year and that the victim was supposed to pay back the loan when her tax return amount was deposited.  Ms. Tucker allegedly alleges that the victim began calling and making threats.  So, Ms. Tucker blocked the victim’s number.

The card holder where the victim’s money was deposited cancelled Ms. Tucker’s account and is supposed to be mailing her a check for the balance of her account, which she was told will take between 7 – 10 business days.  Ms. Tucker allegedly advised Detective Jessup that she has already paid the victim a total of $1,800.  The victim agrees that she has received the $1,800.  However, approximately 25 days later, the victim had not received the remaining balance.

Ms. Tucker was arrested and charged with Felony Theft Of Property with a bond amount of $2,500.