East St. Louis Tax Preparer Sentenced to Prison for Preparation of False Tax Returns
Evelyn Johnson, 56, of East St. Louis, Illinois was sentenced to serve eighteen months in prison following her conviction for 29 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false federal tax returns, Donald S. Boyce, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today. Following her release from prison Johnson will serve one year of supervised release.
Johnson operated the E.J. Johnson Tax Service in East St. Louis. Evidence presented showed that the Internal Revenue Service sent an undercover agent to have her taxes prepared after the I.R.S. Scheme Development Center detected a potential pattern of fraudulent returns. Johnson prepared a false return for the undercover agent that falsified Schedule A itemized deductions. The tax service business offered a "refund guarantee." The overall tax loss to the United States was established to be over $769,000. Johnson was convicted of preparing the false return for the undercover agent and convicted of preparing twenty-eight other false federal tax returns.
The indictment is the result of an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service/Criminal Investigations. The prosecution of the case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman R. Smith.