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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Former Tax Preparer From Adrian, GA, Sentenced To 46 Months In Prison For Preparing False Tax Returns

Statesboro, GA:  Lakesia Mills, 35, of Adrian, Georgia, was sentenced last week by United States District Court Chief Judge Lisa Godbey Wood to 46 months in prison for making false statements on 784 amended tax returns. 

Evidence presented at hearings in this case showed that Mills prepared amended tax returns for others that exploited the First Time Homebuyer’s Credit.  Mills fraudulently claimed her clients qualified for the $8,000 credit, and then supported the false returns with phony bank statements, closing documents, and insurance records.  The 784 amended returns prepared by Mills exposed the United States to a potential loss of $6,012,500, approximately $572,132 of which was distributed by the IRS before the scheme was detected.

United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver said, “This defendant stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the U.S. Treasury, and would have stolen much more if not swiftly detected by the IRS.  Her sentence should serve as a lesson to all who are tempted to follow her example, as our office will advocate a lengthy prison stay for anyone who lies on tax returns and defrauds our tax system.”

“Lakesia Mills did a disservice to legitimate tax preparers who comply with the tax laws of the Internal Revenue Service,” said Veronica Hyman-Pillot, Special Agent in Charge, Atlanta Field Office. “Mills not only violated the integrity of our tax system, but also placed an unfair burden on hardworking taxpayers. Stealing from the U.S. Treasury is no different from stealing from your neighbors, your friends and your own community. Today’s sentence should serve as a warning to other return preparers that are considering similar criminal activities.”

In addition to her prison sentence, Mills was ordered to pay restitution, as well as serve 12 months of supervised release after she is released from prison.  Regarding the length of the prison sentence, Tarver noted that there is no parole in the federal system. 

IRS Special Agent Joshua Graham conducted the investigation of Mills.  Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Solari prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.  For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.                           

Updated April 19, 2016