Avondale woman convicted in tax-fraud case

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- A former tax return preparer accused of tax fraud and identity theft has been found guilty in the case.

In 2012, a federal grand jury returned a 43-count indictment charging Latoya Nivea Morehead, of Avondale, with wire fraud, false statements, aid or assistance in a false statement, and aggravated identity theft.

Morehead was accused of failing to report income on her own tax returns and using personal and financial information of former clients to prepare tax returns that resulted in refunds. The former clients never received any refunds.

The indictment also alleged she fraudulently used other people's identities to prepare tax returns that resulted in refunds.

Prosecutors said Morehead committed the crimes while working as a tax preparer at various companies.

Officials with the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation division announced Wednesday that a jury found Morehead guilty on all 43 counts following a three-week trial. Jurors deliberated approximately three hours.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 30.