A federal grand jury has returned an indictment Thursday charging Jeffery Deshon Applewhite, aka Jeffery Donald Mason, of Los Angeles, with aiding and assisting the preparation and presentation of false and fraudulent federal income tax returns, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced.
According to the indictment, from 2006 through 2011, Applewhite, a certified public accountant who owned and operated tax preparation businesses, including Applewhite and Company, CPA and Mason Financial Services Inc., aided and assisted in the preparation and presentation of false and fraudulent federal income tax returns containing claims for deductions and credits to which his clients were not entitled. Some counts allege that Applewhite used another individual’s preparer tax identification number without permission in preparing false federal income tax returns.
The maximum penalty for aiding and assisting the preparation of false claims is three years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each count of conviction. The maximum penalty for each count of identity fraud is fifteen years and a fine of $250,000.
This case is being investigated by special agents of IRS - Criminal Investigation. Trial Attorneys Charles O’Reilly and Erin Mellen of the Justice Department’s Tax Division are prosecuting the case.
An indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.