Tax Preparer Sentenced to 15 Months in Federal Prison
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that GELIN STERLING, 31, of Berlin, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley in Bridgeport to 15 months of imprisonment, followed by one year of supervised release, for preparing false tax returns.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Sterling owned and operated Sterling Tax Plus, LLC, a tax preparation business. For the 2014 through 2017 tax years, Sterling prepared tax returns for numerous clients that included false mileage expenses, false charitable donations, and other false income items.
Judge Dooley ordered Sterling to pay restitution of $250,000 to the IRS. As a result of his fraudulent conduct, many of his clients’ filed tax returns will need to be amended. The amount of Sterling’s restitution may be reduced as his clients resolve their own tax liability with the IRS.
On May 2, 2019, Sterling pleaded guilty to one count of aiding in the preparation of false tax returns. Sterling, who is released on a $100,000 bond, is required to report to prison on December 30.
Sterling is a citizen of Haiti and faces immigration proceedings when he is released from prison.
This matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division and the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer R. Laraia.