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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 2, 2014

Detroit Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty To Preparing False Returns

A Detroit tax preparer pleaded guilty to willfully making false claims to the United States government by preparing false income tax returns, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.
            
 McQuade was joined in the announcement by Acting Special Agent in Carolyn Weber, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.

Gerald Leslie Hawk, Jr., 29, entered the guilty plea before U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Edmunds.

According to court records, during 2009, Hawk prepared false income tax returns claiming the 2008 First Time Homebuyer Credit (FTHBC).  The FTHBC was a credit for individuals who purchased a home during 2008 to receive up to $8,000 upon filing their income tax returns.  Hawk solicited clients by promising that he could acquire a tax refund of $8,000 to purchase a home by receiving the FTHBC.  Hawk knew the individuals did not purchase a home and had no intention of later purchasing a home after the credit was received.  Hawk prepared or assisted in the preparation of approximately 21 false FTHBC tax returns claiming over $147,000 in refunds.
  
A sentencing hearing was set by Judge Edmunds for Thursday, Aug. 7. at 2 p.m.  The maximum penalty for willfully making false claims to the United States government is imprisonment of not more than five years and a $250,000 fine per each count.  

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Special Agents of the IRS Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ross MacKenzie.

Updated March 19, 2015