MONROE LAWYER PLEADS GUILTY TO FALSE TAX CLAIM CHARGE
MONROE, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that lawyer Francis C. Broussard, 53, of West Monroe, La., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Robert G. James Friday to making false, fictitious, and fraudulent claims to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in an attempt to receive more than $9.7 million in tax refunds.
According to the Stipulated Factual Basis in the plea agreement, Broussard, who has been licensed to practice law in Louisiana since 1986, had his accountant prepare his 2005 through 2007 tax returns, but the defendant never filed them. Broussard did present the documents to various financial institutions in efforts to obtain personal loans and other types of financing. In 2009, the defendant went to a different tax preparer to have his personal tax returns prepared for 2005 through 2008. The defendant brought already-prepared federal tax returns along with a separate piece of paper with a set of numbers on it. The defendant instructed the preparer to use the set of numbers on Forms 1099-Original Issue Discount (OID) and on the Schedule B, Interest Income section of the form. The defendant’s fraudulent claim is based on the OID interest income. Broussard claimed that he received Forms 1099-OID from four banks. All four banks denied they issued any forms to Broussard for his tax returns.
Additionally, the Stipulated Factual Basis states that IRS agents interviewed Broussard in February 2009 regarding the tax returns he submitted for 2005, 2006, and 2008. The 2007 false return reflecting a multi-million dollar return was mailed after IRS agents contacted the defendant. Broussard did not receive the requested refunds.
Broussard faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and one year of supervised release for the false claim count.
The IRS criminal investigations unit conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cytheria D. Jernigan is prosecuting the case.