Acting U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that ROJONAH HARRIS, age 35, of Hammond, was charged today in a one-count Bill of Information with aiding and abetting in the preparation of false tax returns.
According to the Bill of Information, beginning in about 2012, HARRIS owned and operated Harris Finance and Tax Service, a tax preparation business in Hammond. Between tax years 2011 and 2014, HARRIS prepared and filed not fewer than 2,010 federal income tax returns for customers claiming not less than $11,100,000 in withholdings. An investigation revealed that HARRIS regularly claimed false deductions and claimed false federal tax withholdings for her clients to generate unnecessarily large refunds to which they were not entitled. In total, between tax years 2011 and 2014, HARRIS prepared and filed not fewer than 267 false and fraudulent tax returns, resulting in inappropriate and unnecessary refunds of not less than approximately $1,115,578.
If convicted, HARRIS faces a maximum term of imprisonment of not more than three years followed by up to one year of supervised release, and a $100,000 fine.
Acting U.S. Attorney Evans reiterated that the Bill of Information is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Acting U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg is in charge of the prosecution.