Presidential Tax Service Owner Convicted Of Falsifying Returns
HOUSTON – Sharon Edwards Kitine, the former owner of a now defunct Presidential Tax Service in Houston, has entered a plea of guilty for falsifying client returns, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Lucy Cruz, special agent in charge of Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). The tax service establishment she owned closed in March 2012 following her arrest.
The factual basis in support of the plea states that Kitine claimed false deductions for Houston-area clients that fraudulently increased tax refunds by approximately $200,000 for tax years 2006 through 2011.
“Tax return preparers have a duty to their clients to prepare accurate tax returns that comply with the tax laws,” stated Cruz. “IRS-CI endeavors to protect revenue by identifying, investigating and recommending prosecution of abusive return preparers. Always remember, it is your responsibility to know what is on your income tax return because ultimately, you are responsible for all the information filed with the IRS.”
On or about March 29, 2008, Kitine knowingly prepared and caused to be filed with the IRS a false 2007 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return – Form 1040 for taxpayers and fee-paying clients in need of tax return preparation services. Without consent of the taxpayers, Kitine included certain materially false deductions with the intention of generating an excessive federal income tax refund and causing a direct pecuniary harm of several thousand dollars to the IRS.
Specifically, Kitine knowingly and willfully included materially false deductions for a variety of Schedule C deductions as well as Schedule A deductions for home mortgage interest and real estate taxes even though the taxpayers rented their home. This tax return alone caused a loss to the U.S. Treasury in the approximate amount of $11,261.
Kitine also knowingly and willfully prepared and caused to be filed with the IRS several more false federal income tax returns for other clients for tax years 2006 through 2011 that generated excessive refunds based upon false and fraudulently inflated deductions and credits that caused aggregate losses to the IRS of approximately $205,682.
The plea agreement requires Kitine make full restitution to the IRS for the fraudulent refunds.
U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore, who accepted the guilty plea, has set sentencing for July 22, 2013, at which time Kitine faces up to three years in prison and $250,000 fine. She has been permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.
The investigation leading to these charges was conducted by IRS-CI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jimmy Sledge Jr. is prosecuting the case.