Skip to main content
Press Release

Florida Return Preparer Sentenced to 97 Months in Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida

Miami, Florida – A Florida tax return preparer was sentenced in March 2022 to 97 months in prison for preparing false tax returns for his clients.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Fred Pickett Jr., of Belle Glade, owned and operated a tax return business he used to prepare false individual income tax returns. From 2013 to 2016, Pickett prepared tax returns for some of his clients claiming they owned fictitious businesses that lost tens of thousands of dollars each year. Pickett included these nonexistent companies, as well as other false deductions and tax credits, on his clients’ returns to generate refunds they were not entitled to receive. In December 2021, Pickett was convicted at trial of 22 counts of aiding and assisting the preparation of false tax returns.

In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg ordered Pickett to serve one year of supervised release and pay approximately $169,639 in restitution to the IRS.

U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez and Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division made the announcement.

IRS-Criminal Investigation investigated the case.

Trial Attorneys Parker Tobin and Patrick Elwell of the Tax Division prosecuted the case. Southern District of Florida Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Osborne indicted Pickett.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or at



Marlene Rodriguez
Special Counsel to the U.S. Attorney
Public Affairs Officer

Updated April 12, 2022

Financial Fraud