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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 5, 2015

Port St. Lucie Resident Pleads Guilty to Preparing False Tax Returns for Himself and his Clients

A Port St. Lucie resident pled guilty to preparing false tax returns for himself and his clients.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement.

Jean Pedro Jean Baptiste, 55, pled guilty to two counts of filing false tax returns, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(1), and four counts of assisting in filing false tax returns, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(2).

According to court documents, Baptiste was a paid tax return preparer who owned and operated JP and Sons Enterprises in Delray Beach, Florida. For tax years 2008 and 2009, Baptiste prepared individual income tax returns for customers using false income and deduction figures. Baptiste claimed deductions and credits for items that he knew the taxpayers were not entitled to take including, false Schedule C items and false Earned Income Credits, Additional Child Tax Credits, and First Time Home Buyer Credits. Baptiste failed to review the tax returns in detail with his clients and then electronically filed them for the taxpayers.

Baptiste also filed false Form 1040 income tax returns for himself for tax years 2008 and 2009. The 2008 tax return falsely claimed a First Time Home Buyer Credit, and the 2009 tax return falsely claimed an Additional Child Tax Credit, an Earned Income Credit, and falsely stated Schedule C income, gross receipts and sales.  As a result, Baptiste received an inflated and unmerited tax refund payment.

The total loss to the United States is approximately $558,000.

Baptiste is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Robin L. Rosenberg on August 18, 2015 at 10:30 a.m.  At sentencing, Baptiste faces a maximum of 3 years in prison per count.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Lineberger.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Topic(s): 
Tax
Updated February 4, 2016