LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney…

LAWFUEL – 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 defendant, Pamela Clarisse Ezell, a former tax return preparer at H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt in Miami, Florida, pled guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Joan Lenard in Miami, Florida, to three (3) counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of fraudulent tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). Ezell faces a maximum statutory term of imprisonment of three (3) years as to each count. Her sentencing is scheduled for September 10, 2007.

On March 20, 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 made in court, Ezell previously 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 being resigning from H&R Block, Ezell worked at Jackson Hewitt Tax Preparation Service. Ezell would make 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.

During the investigation an undercover IRS agent went to Jackson Hewitt for Ezell to prepare her tax return. During this taped meeting, Ezell asked very few questions of the undercover agent. Without asking the undercover agent, Ezell claimed figures for medical expenses, gifts to charity and unreimbursed business expenses.

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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