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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Bronx Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty To 13 Counts Of Preparing And Filing False And Fraudulent Tax Returns

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Shantelle P. Kitchen, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (“IRS-CI”), announced that CHRISTOPHER AHERN pled guilty today to a 13-count Information, charging him with preparing false and fraudulent income tax returns for his clients.  According to the Information, AHERN filed tax returns that fraudulently claimed more than $4.7 million in credits and expenses.  AHERN pled guilty today before United States District Judge Deborah A. Batts.   

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “By repeatedly filing fraudulent tax returns for his clients, Christopher Ahern committed federal crimes and deprived the government of close to $5 million in taxes.  We remain committed to charging and convicting those who commit and facilitate tax fraud.”

IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen said: “Unscrupulous income tax return preparers hurt not only their clients, who are ultimately responsible for what is reported on their tax returns, but all law-abiding taxpayers, who have to shoulder an additional burden.  Accordingly, the investigation of unscrupulous preparers remains one of the top priorities for IRS-Criminal Investigation.  Today, Mr. Ahern is held accountable for his egregious practices.”

According to the allegations in the Information to which AHERN pled guilty, and statements made during his plea proceedings:

AHERN owned and operated a tax preparation business called Get My Refund Fast, located in the Bronx, New York.  From 2012 through 2013, AHERN’s business prepared, and submitted to the IRS, nearly 5,000 tax returns.  These tax returns were false and fraudulent in that they claimed education credits to which the clients were not entitled.  AHERN received more than $1.5 million in fees from his clients for preparing and filing the fraudulent returns. 

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AHERN, 40, of Little Neck, New York, pled guilty to 13 counts of making and presenting false, fictitious, and fraudulent claims to the United States, each of which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by a judge.

AHERN is scheduled to be sentenced on November 1, 2016, at 11:00 a.m., before Judge Batts. 

Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of IRS-CI. 

This case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Shawn G. Crowley is in charge of prosecution.

Topic(s): 
Tax
Press Release Number: 
16-179
Updated July 5, 2016