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Oct. 20, 2011

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Jury Convicts Local Tax Return Preparer

HOUSTON - Kendrick Baker, a former Houston-area Colbert/Ball Tax Service franchisee, has been found guilty on all 16 counts against him of willfully aiding and assisting in the preparation of false U.S. individual income tax returns, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Lucy Cruz, special agent-in-charge of Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI). The jury returned its verdicts late yesterday after five days of trial.

Baker was charged on March 31, 2011, with including false and inflated business expenses and other deductions in 16 income tax returns that he had electronically filed for eight clients for tax years 2005 through 2007. The jury heard testimony from the clients that they were unaware that various business expenses and personal deductions had been included in their tax returns or that their business expenses had been inflated. The jury also heard testimony that the false and inflated deductions in the 16 tax returns had generated excessive refunds totaling approximately $42,000. 

U.S. District Judge Gray Miller set sentencing for Jan. 20, 2012, at which time Baker faces up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count of conviction and could be required to make full restitution for the excessive refunds.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Charles J. Escher and Jimmy Sledge Jr. and was investigated by IRS-CI.