The owner and sole employee of a Buffalo-based debt collection agency is in legal hot water, after being accused of filing an amended income tax return claiming she made $5 million and requesting a refund of $39,000.
Stephanie Izevbizua was arrested on March 1 and was arraigned last week on charges of third-degree attempted criminal tax fraud, third-degree attempted grand larceny and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, according to a published report.
Izevbizua founded and runs Web Debt Solutions, which was seeking an investor to help it expand to Richmond, Virginia, according to the company’s website. A video from Izevbizua talks about the agency and its prospects.
Last March, Izevbizua filed an income tax return claiming wages of $7,500 and requesting a refund of $878, according to prosecutors. Weeks later, she filed an amended return, claiming she earned $5 million and was seeking a refund of $39,170.
“I commend the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for their work in the investigation and bringing this matter to my office,” said Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn, in a statement. “My office will continue to prosecute those who attempt to profit at the expense of New York State taxpayers to the fullest extent of the law.”