5 sentenced for $1.8 million tax filing conspiracy in Waco

Three people in Waco will spend time behind bars for a $1.8 million tax filing conspiracy, while two more involved will serve probation.

Two of the group were also sentenced for defrauding collectively more than $30,000 from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

According to court documents, between 2012 and 2017, Labanda Loyd, Deidra Yvonne Brandon, Shaterian Parr, Jalessia Elaine Sais, and Lashamekwa Alexander worked as return preparers at Tax World and another tax preparation firm in Waco. 

Loyd also served as manager and Brandon was, at times, Loyd’s assistant manager. Together, they conspired to prepare and file tax returns that fraudulently claimed refunds their clients were not entitled to receive, says the IRS.

As manager, Loyd instructed some of her coconspirators how to prepare the false returns, says the IRS. The conspirators completely fabricated employment, wage, and tax withholding information on some of their clients’ returns. For others, they altered the wages and withholdings legitimately reported by their employers. 

In all, the IRS says the five caused a tax loss exceeding $1.8 million.

Loyd and Sais also pleaded guilty to wire fraud stemming from their false applications for PPP loans. Loyd’s fraud allowed her to receive approximately $18,000 in PPP funds, while Sais’s fraud gained her more than $14,000, says the IRS.

Loyd was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison for her role in the tax filing conspiracy and for the PPP fraud. Sais was sentenced to 40 months for her role in the conspiracy and her own PPP fraud.

Brandon was sentenced to 12 months and one day for the tax fraud conspiracy. Par received five years probation, while Alexander received 40 months probation.

Loyd, Sais, Par, Alexander, and Brandon were each ordered to pay $918,396 in restitution to the United States.