Union Woman Receives 2 Years in Federal Prison for Fraudulent Tax Preparation Service
Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced today that Ashley E. Browning, age 32, of Union, South Carolina, was sentenced in federal court after pleading guilty to preparing and presenting false tax returns. United States District Judge Timothy M. Cain of Anderson sentenced Browning to 2 years in federal prison and ordered that she pay over $200,000 in restitution to the federal government.
Evidence presented to the court established that Browning prepared and filed, and assisted in preparing and filing of, multiple tax returns for customers in exchange for fees. Browning carried out this conduct from her home in Union County and also from the homes of her customers who resided in and around Union County. Browning repeatedly falsified information in returns she prepared in order to generate fraudulent refunds. For example, Browning repeatedly submitted false information about customers’ income, federal withholding, and educational expenses. Because of this pattern of falsification, the Government issued approximately $200,000 more in refunds than it would have if accurate and honest information had been submitted by Browning.
The case was investigated by agents with the Internal Revenue Service and the Union City Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Bill Watkins of the Greenville office prosecuted the case.