North Carolina Tax Return Preparer Sentenced to Prison
Caused Loss of $600,737 by Claiming Fraudulent Earned Income Tax Credit for Clients
A Durham, North Carolina, tax return preparer was sentenced to 20 months in prison today for aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin for the Middle District of North Carolina.
According to court documents, from 2012 through 2014, Laurean S. Robinson, 31, worked as the office manager and a return preparer at Tax Breaks, a tax preparation business in Durham. Robinson admitted that she prepared false returns for her clients that fraudulently claimed the earned income tax credit and sought inflated refunds. To qualify her clients for the earned income tax credit, Robinson falsely reported that they earned income providing household services, such as babysitting and caretaking. Robinson trained other Tax Breaks employees to prepare false returns in a similar fashion. In addition to fees charged by Tax Breaks, Robinson also often required her clients to pay her an additional fee in cash. Robinson’s conduct caused a tax loss of approximately $600,737.
In addition to the term of prison imposed, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas D. Schroeder ordered Robinson to serve one year of supervised release and pay a total of $ 120,980 in restitution to the IRS.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Martin commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Tax Division Trial Attorney Daniel McGraw and Assistant U.S. Attorney JoAnna McFadden, who prosecuted the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.