Former Financial Advisor and Tax Preparer Sentenced to 21 Months in Prison for Mulitiple Counts of Preparing False Tax Return
CAMDEN, N.J. – An Atlantic County, New Jersey, tax preparer was sentenced today to one year and one day in prison for using false information to increase her clients’ tax refunds and filing her own false tax returns, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Michele Griffin, 42, of Galloway, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Rodriguez to Count 11 of an indictment charging her with aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false income tax return. Judge Rodriguez imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Griffin prepared multiple fraudulent tax returns on behalf of her clients by falsifying their education expenses, dependent care expenses, business income, dependent information, and unemployment income. As a result, her clients’ returns requested higher tax credits and higher refunds than the clients were entitled to receive. Griffin prepared 19 false tax returns on behalf of six clients for tax years 2013 through 2016 and filed three false tax returns for herself for tax years 2013 through 2015. She admitting causing a tax loss of approximately $135,000.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Rodriguez sentenced Griffin to one year of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution of 135,063.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Tammy Tomlins in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Bender of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden.