CLEVELAND -- A Lakewood man who worked at a tax-preparation business was charged with conspiring to file false income tax returns, said U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach and Kathy Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge of the Cincinnati Field Office of Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations.

Godrich Machuta, 34, was charged in a 39-count indictment with conspiracy to defraud the United States, making false claims, wire fraud and other charges.

He is accused of preparing or assisting in the preparation of false tax returns in which false claims of more than $158,000 were made, according to the indictment.

Machuta worked for Cleveland-based Paglory Tax Services in 2010 and 2011. During that time, he and Mwale Kakusa conspired to fraudulently obtain funds from the United States by filing income tax returns with false, fictitious or fraudulent claims, according to the information.

Kakusa has pleaded guilty to preparing more than a dozen tax returns that made false refund claims of approximately $52,468. He awaits sentencing.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Justin J. Roberts following an investigation by IRS-CI.