IRS – Former Tax Preparer For H&R Block And Jackson Hewitt Sentenced

LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Michael E. Yasofsky, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, announced today that on September 17, 2007 defendant, Pamela Clarisse Ezell, a former tax return preparer at H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt in Miami, Florida, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Joan Lenard in Miami, Florida, to twenty-one (21) months imprisonment as to counts 7, 8, and 33 of the Indictment to which she previously entered a guilty plea. Judge Lenard also sentenced Ezell to one year of supervised release, and ordered her to pay restitution in the amount of $82,940.00.

On July 2, 2007, Ezell plead guilty to three (3) counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of fraudulent tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In March 2007, an Indictment was filed charging Ezell with thirty-five (35) counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of fraudulent tax returns to the IRS, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(2). The false income tax returns filed by Ezell resulted in fraudulent tax refund claims of over $142,000. As alleged in the Indictment, Ezell prepared Individual Income Tax Returns, Forms 1040, representing that her clients were entitled to claim Schedule A itemized deductions which in fact they were not entitled to claim.

According to statements previously made in court, Ezell had worked at H&R Block Tax Preparation Service in Homestead and Naranja and received training on how to prepare tax returns. While at H&R Block, Ezell built up her clientele through word of mouth and repeat clients who knew that she could get them bigger refunds. After resigning from H&R Block, Ezell worked at Jackson Hewitt Tax Preparation Service. At both companies, Ezell made up false deductions on her clients’ Schedule A form for medical expenses, charitable contributions, and business expenses. She also inflated figures given to her by her clients, and used fraudulent information such as false dependents and false childcare tax credits.

Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lois Foster-Steers.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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