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April 4, 2011

TAX RETURN PREPARER PLEADS GUILTY TO PREPARING FALSE TAX RETURNS

(HOUSTON) – False deductions on client tax returns has resulted in a local tax return preparer’s conviction, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Special Agent in Charge Rodney E. Clark announced today.

Celia Hamilton, who worked as a tax return preparer for a national tax preparation firm, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt to one count of willfully aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of a false U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(2). The indictment filed in the record of the case charged Hamilton with preparing, and presenting to the IRS, 16 false U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns for income tax years 2004 through 2006 claiming various false deductions. Those deductions included false deductions for medical expenses, charitable deductions, personal property taxes and employee business expenses. The indictment further charged that on some tax returns Hamilton also claimed false tax credits, such as false education credits and false residential energy credits.

In the plea agreement filed in the record of the case, Hamilton admitted she worked during the years in question as a tax return preparer at a national tax preparation firm and often placed false items on the tax returns she prepared. Hamilton agreed in the plea agreement that the tax return underlying the count to which she pleaded guilty sought a false income tax refund of $9,084. Hamilton has also agreed to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $250,976. 

Judge Hoyt has set sentencing for July 11, 2011. Hamilton faces a maximum prison term of three years, a fine of $250,000 and a term of supervised release not to exceed one year.    
 
This matter was investigated by IRS - Criminal Investigations and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles J. Escher.   

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