Local News

VA worker charged with tax fraud

Posted February 26, 2010 10:26 a.m. EST

— A Department of Veterans Affairs employee was arrested Thursday on charges that he used the names and Social Security numbers of patients at a VA hospital to file phony tax returns, authorities said.

Michael Ray Woods, 47, of Fayetteville, was expected to make his first court appearance Friday.

A federal grand jury indicted Woods last month on 12 counts of aiding and assisting in false and fraudulent tax returns, two counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.

Authorities allege that Woods, operating under the name M&R Computer Consulting and Tax, took patient information to prepare and file hundreds of tax returns in exchange for fees. He would falsify information on the returns to generate refunds for customers, including bogus education credits and non-existent dependents, authorities said.

The Social Security numbers of at least three of those dependents belonged to VA patients, authorities said.