United States Attorney Ronald C. Gathe, Jr. announced that Chief Judge Shelly D. Dick sentenced Bridget Rogers White, age 48, of Baker, Louisiana, to 24 months in federal prison following her convictions for aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of false and fraudulent tax returns. The Court further sentenced White to serve one year of supervised release following her term of imprisonment and ordered her to pay restitution in the amount of $149,933.
According to admissions made as part of her guilty plea, White operated an income tax preparation business, sometimes referred to as “Bridget Stop & Go Tax Services” or “Bridgett’s Tax Service” out of her Baker residence. Through her business, White prepared tax returns in exchange for money, but did not identify herself as the paid preparer on the returns. From January 2015 through at least June 2018, White prepared and submitted to the IRS numerous false and fraudulent U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns, known as Forms 1040, on behalf of herself and other taxpayer-clients. In the Forms 1040 and attachments thereto, among other false items, she routinely included a false Schedule C, reporting a profit or loss from a fictitious business, and a false Form 8863, reporting fictitious education expenses in order to claim an education credit referred to as the American Opportunity Credit. On certain returns, White included additional false items, such as fraudulent itemized deductions, on a Schedule A, or false dependents. For each of her taxpayer-clients, the general effect of such false information was to reduce the client’s tax liability and artificially inflate or increase the amount of the tax refund claimed by the client.
During this investigation, the IRS identified 31 false Forms 1040, which White willfully prepared and submitted on behalf of 13 individual taxpayer-clients for Tax Years 2014 through 2017. Through those 31 false and fraudulent returns alone, White’s conduct caused an actual loss of $149,993. For purposes of sentencing, White further admitted that the total tax loss attributable to her fraudulent conduct was more than $550,000.
U.S. Attorney Gathe stated, “Fraudulent tax preparers cheat the government and honest taxpayers and will be dealt with accordingly. I want to thank my prosecutors and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigators for their hard work on this case. “
“Assisting taxpayers prepare accurate tax returns is the entrusted responsibility of tax practitioners,” said James E. Dorsey, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Atlanta Field Office. “White failed to live up to that responsibility by preparing false returns for herself and others. Today’s sentencing sends a message that IRS Criminal Investigation will continue investigating and recommending prosecution of return preparers who knowingly commit tax fraud.”
This matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Caroline Gardner.