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Justice News

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

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Port St. Lucie Woman Sentenced For Preparing False Income Tax Returns

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), announced the sentencing of defendant Latonia Lermot, of Port St. Lucie, Florida. Defendant Lermot was sentenced to 24 months in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release. Defendant Lermot was also ordered to pay $42,629 to the United States as restitution. Lermot previously pled guilty to one count of aiding in the filing of false tax returns in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(2).

According to court documents, Lermot was a tax preparer for J&BL Tax Services located in Fort Pierce, Florida. During 2010 and 2011, for the 2009 and 2010 tax years, respectively, Lermot prepared at least 30 fraudulent Forms 1040, United States Individual Income Tax Returns, with false items, in order for her clients to receive substantial tax refunds. Specifically, Lermot filed false tax returns for others that included false information regarding dependents, education credits, and child care. At sentencing, United States District Court Judge Jose E. Martinez also considered the relevant conduct of another tax preparer that had previously pled guilty to preparing false returns for J&BL Tax Services. In total, Judge Martinez found that Lermot was criminally responsible for $215,222 in tax losses.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CID. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam C. McMichael.

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 http://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 http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Updated March 12, 2015