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Press Release

Texas Man Convicted Of Falsifying Tax Returns

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

HOUSTON – Cedric Keith Oliphant has entered a plea of guilty for falsifying client returns, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Bernard Butler, acting special agent in charge of Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).

“Tax return preparers have a duty to their clients to prepare accurate tax returns that comply with the tax laws,” stated Butler. “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.”

According to the factual basis in support of the plea, Oliphant claimed false deductions for local clients that fraudulently increased tax refunds by approximately $325,000 for tax years 2006 through 2008. The tax service establishment he owned closed in March 2012 following her arrest.

On or about Feb. 6, 2008, Oliphant knowingly prepared and caused to be filed with the IRS a false 2007 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return – Form 1040 for a taxpayer and fee-paying client in need of tax return preparation services. Without consent of the taxpayer, Oliphant 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, during his plea hearing today, Oliphant admitted he knowingly and willfully included materially false deductions for gifts to charity and for unreimbursed business expenses a client’s 2007 tax return. This tax return alone caused a loss to the U.S. Treasury in the approximate amount of $11,261.

Oliphant also admitted he had knowingly and willfully prepared and filed dozens more false federal income tax returns for other clients for tax years 2006 through 2008 that generated excessive refunds and cause aggregate losses to the IRS of totaling approximately $325,000.

The plea agreement requires Oliphant make full restitution to the IRS for the fraudulent refunds.

U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon, who accepted the guilty plea, has set a sentencing date of Nov. 22, 2013, at which time Oliphant faces up to three years in prison and $250,000 fine. Oliphant has been permitted to remain on bond until that hearing.

The investigation leading to these charges was conducted by IRS-CI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jimmy Sledge Jr. is prosecuting the case.

Updated April 30, 2015