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Feb. 3, 2012

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Local Tax Preparer Sentenced to Prison

HOUSTON - Kendrick Baker, a former franchisee of Colbert/Ball Tax Service, has been sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Lucy Cruz, special agent-in-charge of Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI).

Baker was convicted by a jury’s verdict on Oct. 19, 2011, following five days of trial on all 16 counts of willfully aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of false U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns. Baker was charged and convicted of 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. During the trial, 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 H. Miller, who presided over the trial, handed down the sentence today which will be followed by one year of supervised release. Baker was also ordered to pay restitution to the United States in the amount of $42,369. 

Previously released on bond, Baker was allowed to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future. 

This case was investigated by IRS-CI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charles J. Escher and Jimmy Sledge Jr.