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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 23, 2016

Area Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty to Tax Charges

St. Louis, MO – Ricker Brooks pled guilty to charges involving his preparation of false tax returns by overstating business expenses of a client for the tax years 2009 and 2010.  Brooks owns Brooks Accounting Service, providing accounting and tax preparation services.  Zondra Jones owns Alliance In-Home Care Services, which provides home health care services to individuals.

According to court documents, after Jones reviewed the tax returns that Brooks prepared for her, she thought that the contract labor expense for her business was overstated.  Although there was discussion between the two of them regarding the overstatement, Jones and Brooks agreed to file the tax returns with the overstatement.  After the IRS began to investigate the returns, Brooks prepared false 1099 forms and check schedules which falsely represented payments made by Alliance In-Home Care Services to contract employees.  Jones provided these false documents to the IRS.

"Today, Mr. Brooks admitted that he blatantly ignored the tax laws by preparing false tax returns," said Karl Stiften, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation.  "Dishonest return preparers use a variety of methods to cheat the government, including falsifying information on the tax returns to generate larger refunds for their clients."

Brooks, St. Louis County, Missouri, pled guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and two felony counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false income tax return. He appeared today before United States District Judge Ronnie L. White. Sentencing has been set for August 23, 2016.

Zondra Jones, Florissant, Missouri, pled guilty last November to related charges and is awaiting sentencing on May 26, 2016.

Conspiracy carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and or fines up to $250,000; aiding in the preparation of a false income tax return carries a maximum penalty of three years prison and/or fines up to $250,000.  In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

This case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Steven Muchnick is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Topic(s): 
Tax
Updated June 9, 2016