New York Tax Return Preparer Convicted of Aiding and Assisting in the Preparation of False Tax Returns
A Queens, New York, tax return preparer was convicted by a federal jury yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York of preparing false income tax returns for clients of her tax return preparation business, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
Williesteina Jacobs was convicted of 21 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false income tax returns after a seven day jury trial. According to court documents and testimony at trial, between 2007 and 2010, Jacobs operated International Professional Business Services, a tax preparation business located in South Richmond Hill, New York, and Jamaica, New York. During the years at issue, Jacobs prepared false individual income tax returns on behalf of clients for submission to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These tax returns claimed false losses from Schedule C businesses and grossly inflated or wholly fictitious Schedule A deductions. The false items on these returns resulted in the clients receiving larger tax refunds than they were entitled to receive.
“With yesterday’s verdict, Williesteina Jacobs is held accountable for her crimes against the United States and the harm she caused to our nation’s tax system,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo. “Tax return preparers owe a duty to their clients to prepare accurate and honest returns, and when they willfully fail to do so, the Department stands ready with its partners in the IRS to investigate and aggressively prosecute these offenders.”
“Taxpayers rely on tax return preparers to prepare accurate tax returns,” said Chief Richard Weber of IRS-Criminal Investigation. “Return preparers who willfully falsify tax returns in order to generate more business for themselves violate the trust their clients place in them and violate the law. The verdict reinforces our commitment to identify and prosecute crooked tax preparers.”
U.S. District Judge William F. Kuntz for the Eastern District of New York did not set a date for the sentencing hearing. The defendant faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 on each count of conviction.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo commended agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case and Tax Division Trial Attorneys Yael T. Epstein and Andrew J. Kameros, who prosecuted the case, and Paralegal Carol Saunders of the Tax Division, who assisted the trial team.