On March 25, a grand jury indicted a Brooklyn tax preparer on 31 counts of tax fraud. According to reports, the jury found that there was sufficient evidence to show he had been helping clients falsify tax returns from 2008 to 2010. If convicted of the accused crimes, the preparer could face up to three years in prison and fines amounting to $250,000 for each count of tax fraud. Following the indictment, the preparer underwent a trial and sentencing process.
The Brooklyn tax preparer allegedly assisted clients in claiming false expenses and charitable contributions onto their tax returns. Special agents from the IRS conducted an investigation into the alleged fraud. The IRS has used the case as an example for tax preparers and why they shouldn't consider making false claims on their clients' tax returns.
The Brooklyn tax preparer isn't the first to be accused of tax fraud. In Michigan, a woman faced arraignment for 27 counts of tax fraud for allegedly helping clients to collect about $2 million in refunds. Another woman received 21 years in prison for tax fraud after allegedly stealing millions from the IRS. A judge upheld her sentence after an appeal.
Defendants accused of white collar crimes such as tax fraud often go through a process similar to the tax preparer in Brooklyn. In this type of case, a grand jury decides upon whether there is enough evidence to send the case to trial, during which a jury decides on a person's guilt. In this type of case, an attorney with experience in cases involving white collar crime may be able to assist a client. If fraud was committed unintentionally, a defendant may receive some leniency in court.
Source: Forbes, NY Tax Preparer Indicted on 31 Tax Counts Could Face 3 Years Prison--For Each," March 17, 2015