Mississippi Tax Return Preparer Sentenced to Prison for Obstructing the IRS and Filing False Returns
Embezzled Clients’ Money and Caused IRS Loss of More than $500,000
A Gulfport, Mississippi, tax return preparer was sentenced to 48 months in prison for obstructing the internal revenue laws and aiding in the preparation of a false tax return, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Harold Brittain for the Southern District of Mississippi.
According to documents and information presented to the court, Doris Kelley, 65, operated a tax return preparation business from her home in Gulfport. Kelley instructed several of her clients, who owed income taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), to write payment checks directly to her rather than to the IRS. Kelley kept these funds for herself and used most of the money to gamble at local casinos. Typically, Kelley provided copies of accurate returns to her clients, but then did not file any return with the IRS. In some cases, she also filed false returns in her clients’ names without their knowledge. Kelley earned hundreds of thousands of dollars from her scheme and caused a tax loss of more than $500,000.
In addition to the term of imprisonment imposed, U.S. District Court Judge Sul Ozerden ordered Kelley to serve one year of supervised release and to pay $519,635.72 in restitution, to include $357,534.49 to the IRS and $162,101.23 to the individual victims. Kelley pleaded guilty in April to impeding the internal revenue laws and aiding in the preparation of a false tax return.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg and Acting U.S. Attorney Brittain commended special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stan Harris and Trial Attorney Nathan Brooks of the Tax Division, who prosecuted this case.
Additional information about the Tax Division’s enforcement efforts can be found on the division’s website.