Eight members of an East Valley family who ran a Gilbert-based tax preparation company were charged Thursday in a 136-count indictment alleging income tax fraud.
Alfred George Decker, 58, of Gilbert and his wife, Cheryl, 55, are accused of multiple counts of fraud and forgery in the indictment announced late Thursday. The charges relate to preparation of false income tax returns for clients, and forging mortgage documents related to tax returns.
No one answered phone calls made to the Deckers’ home and business, Accountable Business Services in Gilbert. The name of their lawyer was not available.
Also charged in the indictment are four of the Deckers’ children, a nephew and Alfred Decker’s brother. All were employed at Accountable Business Services, a company with between 5,000 and 7,000 clients, according to Andrea Esquer, spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office, which brought the charges.
The company got many clients through referrals from current customers due to large refunds and elimination of tax debts it was able to obtain, Esquer said. The fraudulent returns resulted in a loss of more than $10 million to the state, according to the indictment and a news release that accompanied it.
The charges came after a 2½-year investigation conducted by the attorney general and the Arizona Department of Revenue.
Neither the indictment nor the news release describes in detail how the alleged scheme worked. It does say the illegal activity occurred between December 2000 and last August.
Alfred Decker faces 54 counts of fraud, forgery, conducting an illegal enterprise and fraudulent preparation of an income tax return. If convicted, he faces up to 46½ years in prison. Cheryl Decker was charged with one count each of fraud and conducting an illegal enterprise, and four counts of forgery. She also could face 46½ years in prison.
Others charged in the indictment on various counts of fraud, forgery and conducting an illegal enterprise are:
• Elizabeth Ashleigh Dye, 31, of Mesa.
• Ryan Michael Nelson, 31, of Gilbert.
• Amanda Leslie Dustin, 29, of Mesa.
• Matthew Peter Decker, 28, of Gilbert.
• Benjamin Brian Runger, 29, of Chandler.
• Christopher James Decker, 47, of Mesa.
Runger is the nephew of Alfred and Cheryl Decker and Christopher Decker is Alfred Decker’s brother, according to the news release. The rest are identified as children of Alfred and Cheryl Decker.