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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Metro Detroit Area Tax Preparer Sentenced to Prison for Filing Fraudulent Tax Returns

A Detroit, Michigan, man was sentenced today to 30 months in prison after being found guilty at trial of 25 counts of preparing false federal income tax returns, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division. 

According to evidence presented at trial, Gary Hairston owned and operated Gary Y Hairston & Co PLLC, a tax return preparation business located in Inkster, Michigan. From 2010 through 2014, Hairston prepared and filed false tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on behalf of his clients, charging up to $925 per fraudulent return. Hairston falsified the returns in order to inflate his clients’ refunds or to obtain refunds to which they were not entitled.  In some cases, he would create false Schedule C businesses for clients to facilitate the scheme. In all, Hairston sought more than $175,000 in fraudulent refunds.

Manny Muriel, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit’s IRS Criminal Investigation, stated, “As a tax preparer, especially a Certified Public Accountant, your clients look to you for expertise and guidance. It is your obligation to faithfully and diligently represent their best interest and today’s sentencing shows IRS-CI, in concert with the Department of Justice, is committed to aggressively pursuing unscrupulous tax professionals that prey on the public.”   

U.S. District Court Judge David M. Lawson, who imposed the sentence, also ordered Hairston to serve one year of supervised release and to pay $118,048 in restitution to the IRS. 

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman thanked special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case, and Trial Attorneys Carl F. Brooker, IV and Thomas F. Koelbl of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.

Additional information about the Tax Division’s enforcement efforts can be found on the division’s website.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Tax
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
19-418
Updated April 24, 2019