Tax Preparer Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Preparing False Tax Returns
Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte sentenced Joseph D. Edwards, age 62, of Oxon Hill, Maryland, today to 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, for aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns. Edwards pleaded guilty on March 11, 2009, after six days of trial.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge C. André Martin.
“Everyone who files a tax return should take full advantage of all deductions provided by law; however, no one is entitled to an undeserved windfall,” stated C. André Martin, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge. “We should not forget that the ultimate victim of tax fraud is the honest taxpayer and the numerous programs funded by the government.”
According to Edwards’ guilty plea, he was the owner and sole proprietor of JD Tax and Accounting Services, a tax preparation business located in Oxon Hill. During tax years 2001 to 2004 Edwards personally prepared more than 1,800 federal income tax returns and the company prepared over 3,000 returns. During those years, over 99% of the returns prepared by Edwards and JD Tax received refunds. Edwards admitted that during those years Edwards prepared false individual tax returns, claiming deductions to which the taxpayers were not entitled, including: medical and dental expenses that were not paid; unreimbursed employment expenses, such as mileage and uniform expenses, that were not incurred; gifts to charity that were never made; understated income and inflated expenses for businesses, including for businesses that did not exist; and understated income and inflated expenses for rental property, including property that the taxpayers did not own. The total tax loss from his fraudulent conduct was between $400,000 and $1,000,000.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys Stacy Dawson Belf and James A. Crowell IV, who prosecuted the case.