Preyear’s employee pleads guilty

Published 4:10 pm Monday, July 18, 2011

An employee of Preyear's Tax pleaded guilty in a Mobile court room.|File Photo

An employee’s admission of guilt in a Mobile court last week may make the trial of her boss difficult at best.

Latana Locke pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges in connection with her activity at Preyear’s Tax and Check Cashing Services during 2009 and 2010. Locke agreed to cooperate with officials in the investigation of the company’s owner, Alice Mobley.

In court documents of the plea agreement, Mobile is believed to have instructed Locke to sell dependent information to clients at the firm in order to reduce their tax liabilities.

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Mobley is accused of filing fraudulent tax returns on behalf of clients that allowed her to received millions of dollars, according to records in the case.

Documents also indicate Mobile told Locke to create false dependents to allow clients to claim tax breaks as part of her duties at the company with locations in Monroeville, Atmore and Thomasville. Locke is believed to have written the number of dependents a client intended to buy on a slip of paper and attach it to the proposed tax return. The plea deal states that Mobley would then add the dependents to the tax return and file it with the Internal Revenue Service.

Mobile was scheduled to plead guilty last month; however, she changed her mind and moved forward with plans for a jury trial. A trial in that case is set for August in Mobile.

Locke now faces up to five years in prison on conspiracy charges, however, prosecutors will seek leniency in her sentencing if she continues to cooperate.