Fugitive Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty To Aiding The Filing Of False Tax Returns
Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Candia V. Williams (49, Jacksonville) has pleaded guilty to nine counts of aiding in the preparation and filing of false tax returns. She faces a maximum penalty of three years in federal prison on each count. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to court documents, Williams was the owner and operator of Express Tax Returns, a tax preparation business in Jacksonville that was also known as Taxonville. In the course of preparing and filing income tax returns for customers, Williams reported false information, including inflated business income, to increase the customers’ eligibility for tax credits. As a result of her actions, the United States Treasury lost more than $300,000 in tax revenue.
After being indicted on May 27, 2015, and initially released to await trial, Williams fled Florida in violation of the conditions of her bond. On January 6, 2016, a fugitive task force determined that Williams was hiding out in a home in Gulfport, Mississippi. After a standoff with law enforcement, she was found hiding under a pile of clothing in a bathroom closet in the home. She was arrested and returned to Florida.
This case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Marshals Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Coolican.