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Press Release

Tax Preparer Sentenced to Prison for Falsifying Income Tax Returns

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

St. Louis, MO – Filmon Tekle was sentenced on Thursday to 21 months in prison for obstructing the administration of the internal revenue laws.

Tekle, 34, St. Louis, pled guilty in May 2018 to one felony count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and four counts of falsifying tax returns.

According to court documents, between 2013 and 2015, Tekle operated tax preparation stores under several different names.  He paid nominees to use their names to obtain Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs) for the operating years of 2014 to 2015.  New employees at the tax preparation businesses were trained to report the existence Schedule C income without the necessary documentation.  Tekle instructed the employees how to prepare the returns and how to interact with the customers. 

Tekle facilitated the filing of numerous false income tax returns between 2013 and 2015.  The defendant charged significant fees for the filing of the false tax returns and had a system for paying the preparers a kickback for the false returns after the refund checks were mailed to the business.  The total loss to the Internal Revenue Service as a result of the false tax returns filed is at least $167,469.

“The United States tax system depends on the voluntary compliance of taxpayers and the skill and integrity of tax professionals,” said U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen. 

Co-defendants Eddie Buren is awaiting trial and LaJohnda Dunger has pled – sentencing is set for July 17, 2018.

This case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jeannette Graviss handled the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Updated July 6, 2018