VINCENNES, Ind. (WVUT) - A Vincennes tax preparer has been sentenced in federal court for the preparation of more than 350 false tax returns.
56-year-old Deborah Richards, previously pleaded guilty to three counts of willfully aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns.
She was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to make $550,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. According to court records, Richards established Terry’s Tax Service in Vincennes, where she prepared tax returns for clients in 2016 and 2017.
Richards claimed false education credits, false American Opportunity credits, and false itemized deductions to inflate refunds for her clients.
In addition, she provided altered copies of the tax returns to her clients, which were different from the tax returns she filed with the IRS. Richards then charged increased fees for her preparation of the fraudulent tax returns.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney James Warden, who prosecuted the case, Richards earned more than $250,000 in fees.
Richards must serve one year of supervised release following her sentence.
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