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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty To Filing False Returns

Claimed False Deductions, Business Losses and First Time Homebuyer Credits
on Federal Tax Returns

Baltimore, Maryland - Judianne Horn, age 43, of Owings Mills, Maryland pleaded guilty today to aiding in the preparation of false tax returns.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Kelly of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office.

According to her plea agreement, from 2007 to at least 2010, Horn was a tax return preparer who prepared approximately 3,000 tax returns for clients. Horn was self-employed and operated a tax preparation business out of her home in 2007 and again in 2010. In 2008 to 2009, Horn was employed at two other tax preparation businesses located in Owings Mills and Randallstown, Maryland. In all these years, Horn filed federal tax returns which she knew included false deductions and/or false business losses, thus generating a larger tax refund than the client was otherwise lawfully entitled. The total tax loss generated by these false tax returns is $281,764.

Additionally, Horn also filed numerous false tax returns which claimed that the client was entitled to the first time home buyer credit. The credit was designed for persons who purchased a new home after April 8, 2008, and before May 1, 2010 and who did not own a home in the prior three years. A qualified taxpayer could receive a credit of up to $8,000. On at least five tax returns involving a false home buyers credit, Horn claimed that the taxpayer qualified for this credit, when in fact the taxpayer had not purchased a home at all. Horn directed the full $8,000 credit to a bank account she controlled.

Horn has agreed to pay restitution to the IRS of up to $281,764.

Horn faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison followed by a year of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis scheduled sentencing for July 14, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the IRS Criminal Investigation for their work in the investigation and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys David I. Sharfstein and Gregory R. Bockin, who are prosecuting the case.

Updated January 26, 2015