New Jersey Tax Preparer Convicted Of Tax Fraud
TRENTON, N.J. – A Union County, New Jersey, tax preparer was today convicted of tax fraud for getting unearned tax refunds for his clients to make extra money for himself, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Courtney Johnson, 45, of Union Township, New Jersey, was convicted of six counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false federal income tax returns following a two week trial before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson in Trenton federal court. The jury deliberated four hours before delivering the verdicts.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:
Johnson prepared and filed federal individual income tax returns that were false and fraudulent as to material matters. The returns attached schedules for fictitious businesses that the taxpayers did not own or operate, inflated charitable contributions, fabricated itemized deductions – all to generate fraudulently inflated refunds.
His wife, Carol Johnson, 44, who ran the business with him, previously pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony and is awaiting sentencing. The Johnsons operated tax preparation businesses in South Orange and Jersey City, New Jersey.
Each false tax return count carries a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing for Courtney Johnson is scheduled for Sept. 25, 2015.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty verdict.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jane H. Yoon and Jillian J. Reyes of the Criminal Division in Newark.
Defense counsel: Thomas R. Ashley Esq., Newark