Nashville Return Preparer Pleads Guilty To Filing False Tax Returns
Robert J. Spears, 35, a Nashville resident and tax return preparer, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to one count of preparing a false tax return for his client and one count of filing his own false tax return, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jack Smith of the Middle District of Tennessee.
According to court documents, Spears worked as a salesperson and manager at a call-center. From 2010 through 2012, Spears prepared and filed materially false tax returns for his coworkers at the call-center by claiming bogus education credits, student-loan interest deductions, and child-care expenses. Without his clients’ knowledge, Spears diverted a substantial portion of the refunds issued in his clients’ names to bank accounts under his control. Spears did not report the diversions on his own personal income tax returns, which he was required to do, nor did he include any of the money he earned preparing returns on his own tax returns.
In total, Spears caused a tax loss of over $180,000.
Spears will be sentenced on December 13, 2017 and faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison on each false return count, as well as a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Ryan R. Raybould of the Middle District of Tennessee is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.