A Dunwoody city employee who had been convicted of defrauding the IRS had been employed by city in the business license division months after he pled guilty to the charges, records show.

Kyle Jarmaine Self of Atlanta was convicted of submitting fraudulent tax returns on behalf of his clients on Jan. 22, 2022. According to a monthly report submitted by Dunwoody City Manager Eric Linton in July of last year, Self had been hired to work in the business license division, but the report did not include his start date.

Jennifer Boettcher, the communications director with the city, said Self had been hired by the city’s sub-contractor, NOVA, and said that Self had been terminated “as soon as the city became aware of his criminal case.”

“His credentials were revoked and access to all city systems was shut off,” Boettcher said. “The city is reviewing this with the contractor, the Collaborative. A forensic audit of his work is underway.”

Boettcher referred all further questions to NOVA’s representative, Steve Willenborg, who is listed as the company’s vice president of operations.

Self was sentenced in September last year for defrauding the IRS through the submission of false tax returns on behalf of clients, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Kyle Self scammed the American taxpayers to enrich himself by illegally inflating the amount of tax refunds due to his clients,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan in the release. “This case serves as a stark warning to other corrupt tax preparers that we will find and prosecute those who exploit the tax system for their personal gain.”

According to authorities, Self, working under the business names Tax Shield and Instant Tax, falsified “numerous“ statements between 2015 and 2018 on behalf of a client, resulting in a loss to the IRS of more than $400,000.

“Self fraudulently claimed IRA deductions for the same taxpayer, even though she had no IRA account,” the DOJ statement said.  “Self further claimed deductions for tuition and fees, even though neither the taxpayer nor her son attended school. Self claimed that the taxpayer suffered business losses related to her work as an Uber driver, a job which she had never held. Self also fraudulently reported that the taxpayer’s son was disabled.”

Authorities said that Self kept much of the money for himself after generating the fraudulently inflated returns.

Self was sentenced in September of 2022 to one year, six months in prison to be followed by one year of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $422,936. It’s unclear whether Self is currently serving his sentence.

Willenborg of NOVA had not responded to the Reporter regarding Self’s employment dates, duties and if there were any irregularities found after Self was terminated. The Reporter also inquired about whether NOVA performs background checks on potential employees.

At the January city council meeting, in response to citizen comments, Dunwoody Mayor Lynn Deutsch clarified the situation with Self, and Assistant City Manager Jay Vinicki said that Self had passed a background check prior to his hiring by NOVO.

“We just uncovered this on Friday and we have to do an investigation, and find out why it happened (that Self’s conviction did not show up),” Deutsch said. “We will then release the results of the investigation.”

Self’s title at the business license department was business license supervisor, according to Vinicki.

Self “was not involved in the other areas of finance aside from business licenses,” Vinicki said.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned for more information.

Cathy Cobbs

Cathy Cobbs covers Dunwoody for Reporter Newspapers and Rough Draft Atlanta. She can be reached at cathy@roughdraftatlanta.com