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Press Release

Former Mississippi Tax Return Preparer Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Defraud the United States

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A former Mississippi tax preparer pleaded guilty today to conspiring to defraud the United States by preparing false tax returns.

According to court documents and statements made in court, from 2015 through 2017, John Wells, Jr. worked at Sunbelt Tax Services, a return preparation business with a primary office located in Jackson, Mississippi. Wells conspired with others at Sunbelt Tax Services to claim fraudulently inflated tax refunds for clients by reporting false education credits, itemized deductions, and business profits or losses.

Wells is scheduled to be sentenced on September 20, 2023, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart Goldberg of the Justice Department's Tax Division made the announcement.

Trial Attorneys Casey Smith, Patrick Elwell, and Mary Frances Richardson of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bert Carraway of the Southern District of Mississippi are prosecuting the case.

Updated May 2, 2023

Press Release Number: 23-503