A federal grand jury has indicted two Berkeley County residents on charges of preparing fraudulent tax returns between 2009 and 2012.

Latasha Failey, 29, of Goose Creek, and Latoya Windham, age 30, of Hanahan, were charged in a 21-count indictment, U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said today in a written statement.

According to a document filed with U.S. District Court in Charleston, the preparers claimed false and exaggerated incomes, business expenses, education payments and dependent expenses on the returns of taxpayers, That enabled those clients to get government refund checks ranging from $174 to $8,134 they were not entitled to receive.

The maximum penalty Failey and Windham could receive is three years in prison for each count. The case was investigated by agents of the Internal Revenue Service and is assigned to assistant U.S. Attorney Rhett DeHart of Charleston.

Nettles said the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in federal court.