Skip to main Content
Crime & Courts

Anchorage woman altered tax returns to get bigger refunds for clients, prosecutors say

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: July 15, 2020
  • Published July 15, 2020

An Anchorage woman who lied about her tax preparation experience filed false tax returns on behalf of paying clients to boost their refunds, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alaska.

Sanh Sunni Thampithak, 54, worked as an informal tax preparer from 2015 to 2017, according to charges filed Wednesday in federal court. She routinely bolstered clients’ deductions and expenses to generate higher tax refunds, which in turn would in turn generate more business for Thampithak, according to an online statement from prosecutors.

She filed at least 13 returns over two years that included up to about $250,000 in false claims that led some clients to receive refunds far larger than they were due, the statement said.

Thampithak misrepresented herself to clients as a legitimate tax preparer and lied about previously working for companies like H&R Block or Liberty Tax, the charges said. She charged clients $100 to $300 to file their taxes. Thampithak inflated refunds by adding expenses like personal property taxes, attorney fees or driving costs that her clients were unaware of, charging documents said.

Thampithak is facing a federal charge of fraud and false statements, which holds a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a fine of $100,000.

She did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

[Because of a high volume of comments requiring moderation, we are temporarily disabling comments on many of our articles so editors can focus on the coronavirus crisis and other coverage. We invite you to write a letter to the editor or reach out directly if you’d like to communicate with us about a particular article. Thanks.]