East St. Louis Man Sentenced for Filing a False Federal Income Tax Return
Preston H.L. Pitts, 33, of East St. Louis, IL, was sentenced today in federal court for filing a false 2008 federal income tax return, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced. Pitts was indicted by a federal grand jury in April, 2012. He was one of fifteen individuals charged in a scheme to fraudulently obtain federal tax refunds based on fictitious W-2 earnings. Court filings indicate that Pitts provided false W-2 information which falsely reported an employer, falsely reported wages, and falsely reported taxes withheld to the Internal Revenue Service. The Internal Revenue Service recognized the return as fraudulent and stopped Pitts refund. Pitts received a sentence of five years probation, six months home confinement with electronic monitoring, substance abuse counseling, vocational counseling, with a condition of supervision to actively seek and maintain employment. Pitts was also ordered to pay restitution to the tax preparer for the tax preparation fees and a $100 special assessment.
The prosecution is the result of an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service/Criminal Investigations. The prosecution of the case was being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman R. Smith.
If you suspect or know of an individual or company that is not complying with the tax laws, you may report this activity by contacting the local Internal Revenue Service/Criminal Investigation Office at (618) 622-2160 or by mailing information to: Internal Revenue Service, Fresno, CA 93888.