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      Dillon women plead guilty to fraud charges stemming from tax preparation business

      Nina Monique Allen, 32, and Wendy Marie Johnson, 38, both of Dillon, pleaded guilty in federal court in Florence Monday, according to United States Attorney Bill Nettles.

      Allen pleaded guilty to theft of government funds and Johnson pled guilty to aggravated identity theft.

      Evidence determined that Johnson worked preparing tax returns and Allen worked as an office manager for EZ Loan and Tax Services in Dillon.

      Johnson used personal information obtained from former clients of EZ Loan to file tax returns and obtain refunds electronically. Upon receiving the refund, Johnson and Allen would apply a small refund as a credit for loan payments on existing EZ Loan customer's accounts, then issue a "change check" in someone else's name.

      Allen would then recruit people to cash the new checks. Allen recruited nine people who were paid between $20 and $200 to cash the checks.

      Around $30,000 received from the IRS was split between Johnson and Allen.

      Nettles stated the maximum penalty Allen can receive is 10 years imprisonment, and maximum penalty Johnson can receive is 2 years imprisonment.