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Press Release

Erie Man Pleads Guilty to Preparing More than 1000 False Income Tax Returns

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

ERIE, Pa. - A resident of Erie, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of violating federal income tax laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Roderick M. Jones, 54, pleaded guilty to three counts before United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Jones prepared and presented approximately 1,015 false and fraudulent individual income tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service. On each return, Jones falsely claimed the individual earned household help income which qualified them for the Earned Income Tax Credit and other credits increasing the refund paid to the individuals. Jones was paid $1,000 for his services and electronically filed the false returns with the IRS.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for November 19, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 9 years in prison, a fine of $750,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued Jones on bond.

Assistant United States Attorney Marshall J. Piccinini is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Jones.

Updated July 24, 2018