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Press Release

Return preparer and former owner of national tax preparation franchise sentenced to prison for evading his own taxes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Georgia
Defendant also must pay fines, restitution of more than $600,000

STATESBORO, GA:  A Bulloch County, Ga., man has been sentenced to federal prison for income tax evasion.

Samir Patel, 56, of Statesboro, Ga., was sentenced today (Dec. 19) to two years in prison after previously pleading guilty to tax evasion, said Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. U.S. District Court Chief Judge J. Randal Hall also ordered Patel to pay approximately $550,000 in restitution to the United States, a fine of $95,000, and ordered him to serve three years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term.

There is no parole in the federal system.

“Much of our nation’s operating revenues are dependent on the lawful participation of citizens in the income tax system, and those who evade their responsibilities place a greater burden on everyone else,” said U.S. Attorney Steinberg. “This sentence demonstrates the substantial consequences of attempting to cheat the system.”

As described in court documents and testimony, Patel was a tax return preparer at a national return preparation business. In 2015, Patel purchased a franchise of the business in Claxton, Ga. As the owner, he hired, trained, and supervised tax preparers, and continued to prepare returns for customers. Patel, however, willfully filed false income tax returns that omitted more than $1.28 million in income – including almost $1.18 million from S&W Amusements, a company that placed coin operated amusement machines in convenience stores and gas stations – and evaded proper assessment of his personal taxes for years 2015, 2016, and 2017.

As part of his sentence, Patel is prohibited from preparing tax returns for others or for entities in which he has no interest during his term of supervised release.

IRS Criminal Investigation investigated the case, which was prosecuted for the United States by Trial Attorneys Matthew C. Hicks and Richard J. Hagerman of the Department of Justice Tax Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney John P. Harper III of the Southern District of Georgia.


Barry L. Paschal, Public Affairs Officer: 912-652-4422

Updated December 19, 2023

Press Release Number: 108-23