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Press Release

Federal Jury Finds Tax Preparer Guilty on Preparing Fraudulent Tax Returns

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

St. Louis, MO – After a four-day trial, a federal jury returned two verdicts for the United States finding that Asmerom “Ace” Keleta conspired to defraud the United States through tax fraud and prepared fraudulent tax returns.      

According to court documents, Keleta, 32, of St. Louis, operated University City Tax Service starting in 2012.  He conspired with employees Miyoshi Lewis and Teklom Paulos to prepare fraudulent tax returns for clients.  He directed the employees to fraudulently inflate client tax refunds by listing false American Opportunity educational tax credits and federal fuel tax credits as well as creating false Schedule C income in order to fraudulently maximize the Earned Income Credit.  The jury found that he also prepared false tax returns for clients.            

“Dishonest return preparers use a variety of methods to cheat the government, including falsifying information on tax returns to generate larger refunds for their clients,” said Andrew Thornton, Acting Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation.  “Return preparer fraud is like a contagious disease, it affects the preparer, but also the individuals who filed false information with the Internal Revenue Service.”

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations.  This case was handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Dianna Collins and Carrie Costantin. 

Updated March 23, 2018