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Press Release

Mississippi Tax Return Preparer Pleads Guilty to Filing False Client Returns

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Mississippi

Natchez, Miss. – A McComb woman pled guilty today to preparing false tax returns for her clients, announced U.S. Attorney Darren LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge James E. Dorsey of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. 

According to court documents and facts revealed at her plea hearing, Elizabeth Stephens, 41, worked at a McComb tax return preparation business. Between 2014 and 2017, Stephens prepared tax returns for clients that included one or more false items, including false W-2 information and Schedule C Profit or Loss from Business Forms. These false expenses and altered W-2s reduced taxable income and maximized the Earned Income Credit, increasing the total refund amount.

Stephens is scheduled to be sentenced on January 10, 2023, and faces a maximum penalty of 3 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly T. Purdie is prosecuting the case.

Updated October 12, 2022