Georgia Man Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Wire Fraud, Wire Fraud Conspiracy, and Aiding in the Filing of False Tax Returns
Acting U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler announced that a federal grand jury returned a fifteen-count indictment charging Eiahnna Pique, 42, of Cleveland, with aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of a false and fraudulent income tax return.
According to the indictment, the defendant acted as a tax return preparer and operated two tax preparation franchises. The indictment states that the defendant collected information from clients, including income, names, addresses, social security numbers and dates of birth, to use when preparing tax returns.
The indictment states that for the tax years 2015-2018, the defendant used information obtained from clients to file false and fraudulent tax returns in the names of clients and charged a fee for these services. It is also alleged that the defendant added false Schedule C expenses and fictitious business losses to client tax returns and submitted at least one return with a false dependent. Additionally, the defendant is accused of depositing a portion of refunds received from client returns into bank accounts controlled by the defendant without client approval or knowledge.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after a review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offenses, and the characteristics of the violation.
In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum, and in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.
This case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn G. Andrachik.