Scott woman pleads guilty to tax preparation scheme that led to more than $105,000 in IRS losses
LAFAYETTE, La. – Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced that a Scott tax preparer pleaded guilty Tuesday to putting false information on clients’ tax forms that caused the IRS to pay out more than $105,000.
Vida Prejean Thomas, 44, of Scott, La., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Carol Whitehurst to one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false documents under Internal Revenue laws. The plea will be final when accepted by U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell. According to the guilty plea, the IRS began investigating Thomas’ tax preparation business after receiving a tip alleging fraudulent activity. They interviewed nine of her customers and found that their 2010 through 2013 personal income tax returns contained false information put there without their knowledge or authorization. The false returns Thomas prepared caused a loss of $105,813 to the IRS.
Thomas faces up to three years in prison, one year of supervised release and a $100,000 fine. The court set a January 2, 2018 sentencing date.
The IRS conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph is prosecuting the case.