tax preparer sentenced for falsifying returns to increase client refunds
PHILADELPHIA - Shawn Sisco, 49, of Philadelphia, PA, was sentenced today to 12 months and one day in prison for preparing false federal income tax returns. Sisco, who owned Sisco Accounting, a home-based tax preparation business, falsified the itemized deductions on her clients' returns in order to obtain refunds in amounts larger than the filers would have otherwise received. A federal jury found her guilty after a 3-day trial. Sisco, in a statement to federal investigators, claimed that she prepared between 250 and 300 federal income tax returns, annually, and charged a fee of between $150 and $250 per return. Her scheme defrauded the IRS of approximately $163,000. Some of Sisco’s clients have been audited as a result of the fraud and have entered into payment agreements with the IRS.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Petrese B. Tucker ordered Sisco to pay a fine in the amount of $10,000, a $2,800 special assessment, and ordered one year of supervised release.
According to the testimony of trial witnesses, Sisco prepared tax returns which were false because the returns claimed that her clients had made substantial charitable contributions when many of her clients were unaware of the fact that Sisco had included charitable contributions. The contributions that Sisco recorded were as high as $15,000 for filers who earned incomes between $40,000 and $103,000 per year. The false returns also claimed large miscellaneous deductions, and job-related expense deductions which the witnesses testified they had no knowledge of. The bogus expense deductions included: medical and dental expenses; mortgage interest; cell phone expenses; property tax expenses; clothing and shoe expenses; laundry expenses; and maintenance expense.
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Floyd J. Miller.
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525