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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Former Oakland CPA Sentenced To 36 Months In Prison For Preparing False Returns

OAKLAND – Jeffrey Deshon Applewhite, AKA Jeffrey Donald Mason, was sentenced today to 36 months in prison and ordered to pay $9,249 in restitution for assisting in the preparation of false federal income tax returns for clients in the San Francisco Bay Area, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag, Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Larry J. Wszalek for the Justice Department's Tax Division, and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Acting Special Agent in Charge Thomas McMahon.

According to court documents, Applewhite owned and operated Applewhite and Co, CPA, along with Mason Financial Services, located in Inglewood, Calif. Applewhite also owned and operated his H&R Block franchise in Oakland, Calif. Although Applewhite mainly prepared tax returns from his Inglewood office, he came to the Oakland H&R Block location each year to meet with clients.

Following a five day trial, Applewhite was convicted on April 28, 2014, on 20 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of false and fraudulent tax returns. The returns reported false deductions and credits or false Schedule A expenses such as inflated charitable contributions.

On March 28, 2013, Applewhite, of Los Angeles was charged in a 34 count indictment with aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns and identity fraud.

The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Jeffrey S. White, United States District Court Judge. Judge White also sentenced the defendant to a one-year period of supervised release. The defendant will begin serving his sentence on Jan. 12. 2015.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Stier and Trial Attorney Sonia Owens of the Tax Division prosecuted the case. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the IRS, Criminal Investigation.

(Applewhite indictment )

 

 

Updated November 18, 2014