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Press Release

Scranton Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty To Defrauding Taxpayers Of More Than $250,000

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that on March 7, 2022, Donald Royce, age 45, of Orlando, Florida, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani, to a mail fraud charge and a tax fraud offense. 

According to United States Attorney John C. Gurganus, Royce, a tax preparer working in Scranton, defrauded a number of local taxpayers in 2014.  After providing the victim taxpayers with a “client copy” of their tax return that showed the correct refund amount, Royce submitted fraudulent tax returns to the IRS that inflated the refund due. After the IRS sent the refund to Royce, the defendant kept the difference between the legitimate refund amount and the higher fraudulent amount for his own personal use.  In one case, Royce instructed the victim clients to provide him with their tax payment and instead forwarding the payment to the IRS, Royce kept the payment for himself.  Due to Royce’s actions, his victims suffered more than $250,000 in losses.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations.  Assistant United States Attorney Jenny P. Roberts is prosecuting the case.

The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is 23 years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine of $500,000. A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

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Updated March 9, 2022