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Press Release

Wilmington Woman Imprisoned for Preparing False Tax Returns

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Delaware

WILMINGTON, Del. – A Wilmington woman was sentenced today to one year and a day in prison followed by one year of supervised release for preparing false tax returns.

According to court documents, Rose M. Lyons, age 53, prepared at least 95 false tax returns for herself and 41 clients.  For some 32 of those clients, Lyons diverted a portion of their tax refund into her own private bank account.  When her clients asked for copies of their tax documents, Lyons doctored those documents in order to conceal the fact that she diverted funds.

U.S. Attorney Weiss stated, “Criminal conduct that deceives the Internal Revenue Service is conduct that also deceives all American taxpayers.  Today’s sentence should serve as a deterrent to would-be tax cheats that defrauding the public will not be tolerated.”

Tax return preparers have a duty to their clients to prepare tax returns that comply with the law and are accurate,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Guy Ficco. “Rose Lyons ignored this duty, and instead chose to defraud the government, the tax-paying public, and her own clients. It is our hope that this sentence sends a strong message that tampering with the integrity of our nation's tax system will result in jail time."

David C. Weiss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Richard G. Andrews. Assistant U.S. Attorney Graham L. Robinson prosecuted the case.

Updated March 3, 2019