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Justice News

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

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Richmond Heights woman sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay $531,000 in restitution for preparing false tax returns

A Richmond Heights woman who operated a tax preparation business was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $500,000 in restitution for preparing false tax returns.

Karla Jenkins, 48, previously pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false and fraudulent return and one count of making and subscribing a false income tax return.

Jenkins operated Vertical Tax Service LLC from an office on Mayfield Road in South Euclid. Jenkins prepared false tax returns on behalf of Vertical Tax Service clients, including taking false, inflated and/or improper deductions for medical and dental expenses, charitable contributions and other miscellaneous expenses, according to court documents.

The clients received the majority of the refund but Jenkins received a portion of the refund as her tax preparation fee. This took place between at least 2012 and 2015, according to court documents.

"Those who cheat on their taxes are cheating the American public," U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said.

“Karla Jenkins owned a tax preparation business that blatantly ignored the tax laws by preparing false tax returns and misusing her electronic filing privileges,” said William Cheung, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office.  “Dishonest return preparers use a variety of methods to cheat the government, including falsifying information on the tax returns to generate larger refunds for their clients. Criminal Investigation will continue to ensure that all tax practitioners, tax preparers and others who practice in the tax law profession adhere to professional standards and follow the law.”

Jenkins was ordered to pay $531,240 in restitution.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan Miller following an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations.

Mike Tobin 216.622.3651
Updated May 15, 2019