Mobley withdraws plan to plead guilty
Published 6:43 pm Tuesday, June 28, 2011
A Monroeville resident and former Atmore business owner was expected to appear before a Mobile federal courts judge Monday to enter a guilty plea in connection with an 80-count indictment stemming from a 2009 case — but that didn’t happen.
Alice Preyear Mobley was charged with several counts of conspiracy and preparing/filing false tax returns, mortgage fraud and wire fraud after a federal grand jury indicted her for the crimes in April.
It was reported this week that Mobley, along with her attorney, had met with federal prosecutors and U.S. Magistrate Judge Bert W. Milling Jr., in a pretrial hearing and had indicated she would enter a guilty plea on the charge. Following that hearing, Milling had instructed attorneys in the case to file a written plea agreement with the court last week. Attorneys and Mobley were further instructed to notify the court if Mobley reconsidered entering a guilty plea.
An officer of the court, Melanie Paulk, said Mobley withdrew her intent to enter a guilty plea Monday.
“She (Mobley) backed out of the plea,” Paulk said. “It was indicated that she wanted to go to trial. The trail will be set for sometime during our August trial term.
The indictment charging Mobley with the crimes came nearly a year after an Atmore tax service location owned by the suspect was raided by federal and Internal Revenue Service agents.
Mobley, who previously owned Preyear Tax and Check Cashing, LLC., faces the charges that have placed her future in jeopardy. Offices in Atmore and Thomasville, as well as one in Mississippi and Texas, were all owned by Mobley.
The raid last March was conducted by federal agents with assistance from officers with the Atmore Police Department and agents with the Internal Revenue Service surrounded Preyear’s Tax Service and Check Cashing LLC and served a federal search warrant. The business was located at the corner of North Main and East Ridgeley streets near downtown Atmore.
During their raid, agents removed boxes of documents presumed to be paperwork filed by the Ridgeley Street business, as well as, computers and other equipment, all of which was placed in government vehicles for transport. At least one vehicle was also searched during the raid.
The indictment was filed in the Southern District of Alabama by the Federal Grand Jury and came after evidence was submitted in the case. The case was investigated by agents of the Mobile office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Criminal Investigation; Internal Revenue Service, the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban Development; and the 35th Judicial Circuit Task Force in Monroeville. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gregory Bordenkircher and Charles Baer on behalf of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Alabama were set to prosecute the case.
Tax returns involved in the investigation totaled about $68 million in tax refunds, which were issued based on earned income credit and other tax credits on the returns. In the investigation report, Mobley and her business used a variety of fraudulent schemes involving the sale and misuse of the identity of dependents in their preparation of returns. The investigation also revealed information that alleges Mobley prepared federal income tax returns falsely claimed dependents to which the taxpayer’s were not entitled. The information may have been with or without her permission of the person supporting a dependent and entitled to claim that dependent on their tax return, and with or without the permission and knowledge of the person in whose name the tax return was filed. These actions are believed to have allowed the return to falsely claim deductions for dependents, earned income credits, child and dependent care credits and education credits. Mobley faces up to 30 years in prison plus fines up to $250,000 in connection with the charges against her.