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Justice News

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

Monday, March 12, 2018

Pensacola Tax Preparer Charged with Preparing False Tax Returns

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Benell English, 57, of Pensacola, was arraigned on Friday in the U.S. District Court in Pensacola after a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging him with eighteen counts of preparing false tax returns.  The indictment was announced by Christopher P. Canova, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

The indictment alleges that English, a tax return preparer at Select Tax Service in Pensacola, prepared and filed false tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service for various individuals between 2013 and 2017.  The indictment alleges that English falsely represented the taxpayers’ Schedule A itemized deductions, Schedule C business losses or profits, or household employee income.

The maximum penalty for each count of preparing false tax returns is three years in prison.  The trial is scheduled for April 19, 2018, at the United States Courthouse in Pensacola.

This case resulted from an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigation and the Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General.  Assistant United States Attorney Alicia H. Forbes is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation by a grand jury that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt.  All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General.  To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website.  For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.

Financial Fraud
For more information, contact: Amy Alexander, Public Information Officer amy.alexander@usdoj.gov
Updated March 12, 2018