Birmingham Tax-Preparer Gets Three Years in Prison for Aiding Filing of False Tax Returns
BIRMINGHAM -- A federal judge today sentenced a Birmingham tax-preparer to three years in prison and ordered her to repay $322,876 to the U.S. Treasury for aiding and abetting the filing of false income tax returns, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and IRS Criminal Investigation Division Special Agent in Charge Veronica Hyman-Pillot.
U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor sentenced SALLY ELIZABETH WYNN, 65, on three counts of aiding and abetting the filing of a false return. A federal jury convicted her on those charges following a three-day trial in January. Wynn was a 20-year professional tax-preparer and owner of Centerpoint Financial Services. After serving her prison sentence, she must serve a year on probation.
"Our country offers many benefits and opportunities to people from all walks of life, but with those benefits comes the obligation to pay taxes on earnings," Vance said. "Ms. Wynn's conviction and sentence make clear that tax preparers who do not follow the income tax laws will be prosecuted and ordered to pay back what they stole," she said.
"Concealing income in order to evade taxes is a serious offense," Hyman-Pillot said. "It is our hope that today's sentence will send a strong message that tampering with the integrity of our nation's tax system can result in jail time and that these violations must be, and will continue to be pursued in order to obtain justice."
According to evidence at trial, Wynn helped one of her clients hide income from the Internal Revenue Service for the 2005, 2006, and 2007 tax years. The evidence showed that Wynn provided tax-preparation and bookkeeping services to Gonzalez Construction Incorporated and its owner, Jose Gonzalez. As a result, Wynn knew that Gonzalez received at least $340,000 in personal income during each of the years in question. Nevertheless, she prepared tax returns for him that claimed between $55,000 and $66,000 in total income during each of the three years.
Gonzalez still faces criminal charges for his role in these crimes.
The IRS investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melissa K. Atwood and Robin B. Mark prosecuted the case.
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