Ville Platte business owner sentenced for filing false tax returns and failing to pay taxes

U.S. Air Force / MGN

ALEXANDRIA, La. (U.S. Attorney's Office) - United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced that Myra Griffin Fontenot, 43, of Ville Platte, was sentenced Tuesday to 14 months in prison and one year of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell for filing a false tax returning and failing to pay more than $200,000 in taxes.

Fontenot was also ordered to pay $213,958.96 restitution in addition to $28,624.36 in interest. She previously pleaded guilty on May 14, 2019.

Fontenot was the owner of the Nukura’s Step-by-Step Learning Center (NLC), which is a daycare center, and X-press Tax Service LLC. Fontenot failed to file unemployment tax returns at NLC, failed to report the majority of her income, and claimed a great number of expenses on personal tax returns for tax years 2012 to 2014. In sum, she failed to pay $213,958.96 during the course of the scheme.

“The defendant in this case cheated on her taxes and, in doing so, failed to meet her obligations as an American,” Joseph stated. “She is now facing the consequences.”

“Fontenot’s attempt to evade her taxes by hiding income, concealing assets, and filing false returns was a theft from all American taxpayers,” said Thomas J. Holloman III, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge, Atlanta Field Office. “It is a felony offense that carries severe consequences. The overarching principle of IRS’ enforcement strategy is simply this: We protect the integrity of the tax system by ensuring everyone pays the correct amount of tax.”

The IRS-Criminal Investigation Division conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Ayo prosecuted the case.

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