Department of Justice image from the Associated Press.
GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Two men pleaded guilty Thursday to charges they conspired to defraud the federal government in a case involving false income tax returns.
Chad Chertos, 27, of Ada, and Gregory VanDyke, 39, of White Cloud, operated Integrity Tax, a tax preparation business. Prosecutors say the men prepared and filed false tax returns between April 2009 and August 2010, telling clients they could "obtain significant tax refunds even if they earned little or no income."
Integrity Tax is not affiliated with Integrity Tax and Financial of Jenison.
According to the U.S. Attorney's office, the men "ignored their clients' true income and prepared tax returns reflecting false and fraudulently-inflated income amounts to obtain a substantial refund." Chertos and VanDyke admitted to filing the returns so they could generate higher fees based on the refund amounts.
Each man faces up to ten years in federal prison for the fraud charges, and will have to pay $225,000 in restitution. The men have also agreed to no longer prepare or file tax returns on behalf of anyone other than themselves.
Sentencing will be on May 2.