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Press Release

Federal Court Bars Louisiana Tax Return Preparer from Preparing Tax Returns for Others

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Defendant Alleged to Have Prepared Returns that Understate Income and Overstate Refunds

A federal court in Louisiana has permanently barred Finecia Draper from preparing federal income tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today.

In its complaint, the government alleged that Finecia Draper of Simmesport, Louisiana prepared false returns through her sole proprietorship, B&R’s Unlimited Fashion located at 245 Moreau Street in Simmesport, Lousiana. In addition to barring Draper from preparing tax returns, the court ordered her to prominently post a notice in her place of business stating that she is barred from preparing tax returns for others.

According to the government’s complaint, Draper prepared tax returns that fraudulently understated her customers’ income and tax liabilities and/or overstated the refunds they were entitled to receive. According to the complaint, Draper did so by submitting Schedules C, Profit or Loss From Business, with the returns to fabricate or inflate business losses claimed by her customers. In many of the examples cited in the complaint, the taxpayer did not even own or operate a business. The bogus losses that Draper claimed fraudulently understated the income her customers earned which resulted in underreporting their tax liabilities and overstating the refunds they were due, according to the complaint. The complaint additionally alleged that Draper fraudulently claimed and/or inflated the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) on returns she prepared.

From 2011 to 2015, Draper prepared over 2,000 returns, according to the complaint. The complaint alleged that audits of 163 returns prepared by Draper in 2011, 2012 and 2013 revealed that she overstated refunds and understated tax liability by over $275,000 in the aggregate.

Return preparer fraud is one of the IRS's Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2017. The IRS has some tips on their website for choosing a tax preparer.

In the past decade, the Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of unscrupulous tax preparers. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department’s website. An alphabetical listing of persons enjoined from preparing returns and promoting tax schemes can be found on this page. If you believe that one of the enjoined persons or businesses may be violating an injunction, please contact the Tax Division with details.

Updated July 25, 2017

Press Release Number: 17-823