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Press Release

Maryland Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty to Preparing False Returns

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A Maryland tax preparer pleaded guilty today to conspiring to defraud the United States and to assisting in the preparation of a false tax return.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Veronica Fortune and two co-conspirators provided return preparation services from an office in Temple Hills. Fortune operated under several business names, including Fortune’s Professional Services LLC. Beginning in 2015, Fortune began preparing false returns for clients and permitted her co-conspirators to file false returns using Fortune’s IRS e-filing credentials. The IRS later expelled Fortune from its e-filing program, but she continued to prepare fraudulent returns through the 2018 tax year. In total, Fortune and her co-conspirators caused a tax loss to the IRS of $189,748.

Fortune is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 20, 2021. She faces a maximum penalty of five years on the conspiracy charge, and three years on the preparing a false tax return offense. A period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties also may be imposed. A federal district court judge will determine Fortune’s sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan Lenzner for the District of Maryland made the announcement.

The IRS-Criminal Investigation is investigating the case.

Trial Attorney Kathryn Sparks of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah Grossi of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland are prosecuting the case.

Updated April 14, 2021

Press Release Number: 21-326