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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Alabama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 31, 2018

Tax Preparer Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Filing Fraudulent Returns

BIRMINGHAM - A federal judge today sentenced long-time tax preparer SANDRA LENORA GREEN, 61, of York, Ala., to five years and three months in prison for aiding and abetting the filing of false tax returns, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Holloman.

“The federal government is funded by people who pay the taxes that they owe. When unscrupulous tax preparers like Green make their living filing false returns that seek unjustified payouts, they end up stealing money from the taxes paid by those Americans who follow the law,” Town said. “Tax crimes negatively impact every aspect of the public fisc, from national security to our interstates, and will not be tolerated.”

“Today’s sentencing is another example of what happens to abusive tax preparers who seek to produce false tax returns for higher client fees and refunds,” Holloman said. “IRS-Criminal Investigation will continue to serve the American taxpayer by ensuring unscrupulous tax preparers are brought to justice.”‎

Green pleaded guilty in November to her role in filing false tax returns in the names of three people, who were not charged. According to her plea agreement, Green falsely claimed credits and losses on clients’ tax returns in order to inflate the amount of the tax refund they would receive. By doing this, Green increased the profit for the tax-preparation service by increasing the number of clients or increasing the fees from clients. Green agreed to pay restitution of $247,174 to the IRS and admitted that her crimes involved actual or intended losses of $1.5 million to $3.5 million.

At the time of her guilty plea, U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler told Green not to prepare any tax returns other than her own between then and her sentencing date. During the sentencing hearing, the government presented evidence that Green had ignored the court order and had served as a tax preparer during this year’s tax-filing season – again submitting false tax returns in her clients’ names.

IRS-CI investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa K. Atwood prosecuted.

Updated May 31, 2018