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News Releases

Three arrested on charges of defrauding state disaster relief program...Continue Reading

BATON ROUGE – Three Louisiana residents face felony charges after allegedly defrauding a state program that offers sales tax refunds on personal property destroyed in a natural disaster.

Based on a Presidential declaration, citizens can apply for a refund of sales tax they paid on items lost during a declared disaster.

Starr Carbo, Johnnie Mae Ricard and Erica Williams, all of Westwego, are charged in connection with fraudulently preparing and submitting Natural Disaster Claim for Refund of State Sales Taxes Paid forms following Hurricane Ida in 2021.

Investigators with the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) say the three women, working for Global Tax Service, charged clients as much as $110 to prepare and submit the sales tax refund form using false information and inflating the value of the losses. The company’s clients told investigators they had not provided the information that was submitted on their behalf.

Carbo, Ricard and Williams were booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on charges of Injuring Public Records, which can result in a sentence of up to five years and fines of up to $5,000. 

LDR wants the citizens of Louisiana to know that the Natural Disaster Claim form is available for free on its website, revenue.louisiana.gov.

“LDR is committed to preserving the funds available to those who qualify for this program and continues its investigation into disaster related fraud,” said Secretary of Revenue Kevin Richard.

 

Court bars Monroe man from working as a tax preparer in Louisiana...Continue Reading

BATON ROUGE – A Monroe man who pleaded guilty to a tax fraud-related felony is barred permanently from working as a tax preparer in Louisiana. 

Courtney C. Blockson was arrested in Dec. 2019 for a tax fraud scheme involving state child care tax credits. According to the charging document, Blockson improperly claimed the credits of behalf of hundreds of clients by falsely identifying them as day care center operators. None of the taxpayers involved were aware of Blockson’s scheme. The illegitimate credits initially cost the state $131,000 in fraudulent income tax refunds, which the Louisiana Department of Revenue recovered through the collection process. 

Blockson pleaded guilty to Filing False Public Records. As a condition of the plea, the court issued an injunction prohibiting him permanently from participating directly or indirectly in the preparation or filing of any Louisiana tax return except his own. 

 

Louisiana ATC commissioner elected to governing board of national liquor administrators’ association...Continue Reading

BATON ROUGE – Ernest P. Legier, Jr., the commissioner of the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC), will help to lead a national group of state alcoholic beverage regulators. Legier was elected Third Vice President of the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators (NCSLA) Executive Committee at the group’s annual business meeting on June 22, 2022.

The NCSLA consists of state alcoholic beverage regulators representing 41 states and the District of Columbia. The term of office for the current governing board is July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023.

“I am honored for this opportunity to enhance Louisiana’s role in promoting the most equitable and effective alcoholic beverage control policies around the country,” Legier said.

Governor John Bel Edwards appointed Legier to serve as commissioner of Louisiana ATC in Aug. 2020. He served ATC previously as deputy commissioner and supervising attorney. 

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